Posted by admin on Tuesday, December 24 2019 @ 10:50:11 UTC (313 reads)
Kingdom Adds 9-Ball to Grass Roots Sports Portfolio
Saudi Arabia has announced it will host the 2020 World Cup of Pool, which will run from the 23rd-28th June 2020 in Jeddah.
Sanctioned by the WPA, the World Cup of Pool will present 32 two-player teams from 31 countries with players selected by qualifying criteria and qualification events which will take place globally. As host nation, Saudi Arabia will enter two teams to be selected by the Saudi Arabian Billiards and Snooker Federation.
The World Cup of Pool has been an established major event in 9-ball since 2006 and adopts a straight-knockout format. Matches are race to 7 in the first two rounds, race to 9 in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and race to 11 in the final.
Austrian pair Albin Ouschan and Mario He are defending champions having won the trophy for a second time in 2019. Previous winners of the World Cup of Pool include Philippines, China and USA.
The newly formed partnership with Matchroom Pool kick starts a ten-year agreement, throughout which the Kingdom aims to raise the profile of pool at grass roots level by way of coaching visits, player appearances and school seminars.
Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Chairman of the GSA, said: âThe 2020 World Cup of Pool is another significant step for the Kingdom, that showcases our to desire to open up as welcoming hosts to a diverse mix of world-class sporting events, while also offering the people of Saudi Arabia a chance to be inspired to play a vast array of sports all year-round.
Fedor Gorst (RUS) - 2019 World 9-ball Champion. Click the image to view the full size photograph (use "back" to return here)
GORST THE GREAT!
19 year old Fedor Gorst of Russia wins the 2019 World 9-ball Championship with a hard fought 13 -11 win over Taiwanâs Chang Jung Lin in Doha.
Story and Photos By Ted Lerner
WPA Media Officer
Playing with a poise, calm and skill that clearly belied his 19 years of age, Russiaâs Fedor Gorst won the 2019 World 9-ball Championship today in Doha, Qatar, defeating a stingy Chang Jung Lin of Taiwan, 13-11.
The match was nothing short of a brutal marathon, lasting four hours, and the slow, grinding style of Chang only added to the supreme test of pressure and drama that seemed to accompany every rack. That Gorst was able to suck it all up against one of the greats of the last 15 years, and withstand the inevitable emotional peaks and valleys that come in a long, tiring match, will surely add to the satisfaction the young Russian must surely be feeling. There were several lead changes, and the more experienced Chang grabbed the momentum midway through. But Gorst persevered and grabbed the momentum back when it counted most, and close it out in style.
The win by Gorst will surely be extremely pleasing to his many fans. Not only is the low key and friendly Russian easy to root for, but his hard work and prodigious talent have, for the last few years, portended greatness. That Gorst pulled off the ultimate prize in pool at just 19 years of age is an absolutely stunning feat, and bodes amazingly well for the young manâs future, and for European pool as well.
For Chang, the loss was clearly a bitter disappointment that will sting for the foreseeable future. The 2012 World 8-ball champion has been one of poolâs most consistent and successful players over the last 15 years. But the World 9-ball Championship was the one title he has wanted the most. Winning in the pool world is so tough and so brutal, that opportunities like this donât often come your way. Changâs demeanor afterwards spoke of his realization that he let the ultimate prize slip out of his hands.
The marathon final came on the heels of two long semi-finals matches played concurrently earlier in the day. In one semi-final Gorst matched up with World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung in a fascinating battle of two of the sports finest young talents. Most fans had âLittleâ Ko the favorite as he had look implacable over the last 4 days. But Gorst proved to be the more resilient on this day. With little between them the first half of the match, It was the Russian who outwitted the Taiwanese winning in strong showing, 11-7.
The other semi-final featured Chang against Chinaâs Lui Haitao in a battle of hard core grinders. Chang took an early lead and never once fell behind. Playing his methodical and calculating style, Chang turned the screws throughout and won in a relative breeze, 11-5.
The final presented the ideal story line for fans to sink their teeth into: the wily 34 year old veteran finally on the brink of capturing the sport's most coveted title, taking on the 19 year old upstart looking to become the second youngest player to ever win the World 9-ball title.
Ko Ping Chung, Fedor Gorst, Chang Jung Lin, & Liu Haitao on the brink of history in Doha. Click the image to view the full size photograph (use "back" to return here)
World 9-Ball Championship Comes Down To Four
Story and Photos By Ted Lerner
WPA Media Officer
After nearly ten hours of some of the most grueling and pressure packed pool seen in years, the 2019 World 9-ball Championship has now come down to the Final 4.
The four players left, Taiwanâs Ko Ping Chung and Chang Jung Lin, Russiaâs Fedor Gorst, and Chinaâs Liu Haitao are, to a man, already proven monsters of the game. Now each is poised on the cusp of history and will get their crack at pool immortality.
In one semi-final, the current World 10-ball Champion Ko will battle it out against Gorst. In the other semi-final, Chang will match wits with Liu. Both semis, which will be race to 11, alternate break, will begin at 11am Tuesday in Doha(GMT +3) at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation. The Final, which will be race to 13, alternate break, will begin at 3pm Doha time.
Pool fans around the world looking at that list of talent on their betting sheet might be hard pressed to pick who to put their money on to take the sportâs most coveted crown. But anyone who has been lucky enough to be on hand in Doha for the last week, or watch the action online, would probably not hesitate to favor the man fondly known as âLittle Ko.â
Ko got that endearing moniker by being the sweet younger brother to the great Ko Pin Yi, himself a two time former world champion. Fans have known Little Ko to have as much prodigious talent as his older brother, but it wasnât until he won the World 10-ball Championship in Vegas in July this year that the diminutive 24 year old clearly had stepped out of that long shadow and started to establish his own greatness.
Indeed over the last four days in Doha, the 24 year old Ping Chung has exhibited an almost surreal-like confidence to do whatever it takes to win. His shot making is from another planet, he never, ever gets flustered, and he seemingly can do what he wants, when he wants.
These other-worldly skills were on full display in his three tough matches over ten hours today. In the round of 32 match against talented compatriot Lin Wu Kun, Ko got out to an early lead and held off Lin at every turn to win 11-8. In the round of 16, Ko came up against Russian veteran Ruslan Chinakhov who was playing some of his best pool in years. But Ko was in no mood to play nice, and he dominated Chinakhov 11-4.
By the time his quarterfinals battle against Vietnam upstart Do The Kien began, Ko looked a bit worn, and he fell behind 6-2. But as he did against Hungaryâs Oliver Slzolnoki the night before in the round of 64, Ko grinded his way back in the match. In this case the Taiwanese absolutely put his boot down hard, winning 9 racks in a row for an emphatic 11-6 win and a spot in the semi-finals.
Little Koâs battle with Russiaâs Gorst promises to be a fascinating match up of two of poolâs great young talents. Gorst, just 19 yearâs old, is a former World Junior Champion and has also won one Euro Tour event. His game and his personal demeanor appear well beyond his years, and this is not surprising when you discover that he has traveled and played extensively, especially in the US. He even speaks excellent English.
Like Ko, Gorst has a rock-solid game and low-key demeanor that serves him well when under pressure. His three fine performances today showed he is certainly ready for the big time. Should he win here in Doha, he would become the second youngest player, after 16 year old Wu Chia Ching in 2005, to win the World 9-ball Championship.
Gorst started the day with a very impressive 11-7 win over Taiwanâs Kevin Chang. In the round of 16 he blew a 7-1 lead over Polandâs Mateusz Sniegocki, and the match headed for the cliff and a sudden death rack. Gorst held his nerve with a very fine break and run to advance to the quarterfinals.
Without so much as having a bite to eat, he met up with Ko Pin Yi for what promised to be another slug fest. The early part of the match remained tight and nervy, but the young Russian stayed loose and calm and pounced on the few mistakes by Ko for an impressive 11-6 win.
Finlandâs 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. Click the image to view the full size photograph (use "back" to return here)
Filler Falls In Dramatic Upset, While Van Boening Also Crashes Out
Story and Photos By Ted Lerner
WPA Media Officer
Finlandâs 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 wasnât exactly the most feared name in a field of absolute monsters.
So even when the self-described âKingâ of pool jumped out to a 4-1 lead, Matikainen never lost hope, as Filler had gotten a few lucky rolls and wasnât 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.
âHeâs the world champion and heâs playing and Iâm not there in the big tournaments and maybe heâs thinking itâs an easy win,â the 22 year old Matikainen said afterward. âI felt that Joshua had the pressure because heâs the world champion and I was really relaxed at the table and that helped me and I just got it done.â
Matikainenâs massive win was but one huge result on a dramatic day in Doha that saw some of poolâs 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 Royaleâs of 9-ball weâve seen in years.
Americaâs 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 Taiwanâs 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.
Muang Muang, Myanmar Click the image to view the full size photograph (use "back" to return here)
32 Players Book Their Spots In The KO Rounds In A Roller Coaster First Day In Doha
Story and Photos By Ted Lerner
WPA Media Officer
If the first dayâs 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 poolâs premier crown. And with a loaded field just getting warmed up, itâs 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 poolâs 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 didnât fair as well as he got dumped over to the one loss side of his group with a shocking 9-3 loss to Chileâs Enrique Rojas. It was Rojasâ second straight victory of the day, the first coming over Kuwaitâs Abdullah Alyusef. Rojas now books his well deserved spot in the Final 64 tomorrow.
The USAâs 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 Chinaâs 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 Canadaâs Stephen Holem.
It was a solid day for team Taiwan. World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung went up against Myamarâs 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. Heâs 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 didnât 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. Greeceâs Alexander Kazakis is one of Europeâs top bets here this week and he qualified for the knockout round with an easy 9-5 win over Qatarâs Waleed Majid. But Albaniaâs Eklent Kaci and former World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands werenât so fortunate. Kaci lost big to the Netherlandsâ Ivar Saris, who had earlier looked solid in a 9-6 win over Polandâs 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 28th WPA World 9-ball Championship Set For Break Off In Doha Click the image to view the full size photograph (use "back" to return here)
96 players from over 40 countries will battle for a ticket to poolâs pantheon of legends
Story and Photos By Ted Lerner
WPA Media Officer
For three decades it has been the sport of poolâs 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(â90, â91, â02),Hohmann(â03, â13), Chao(â93, â00), 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 poolâs 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 yearâs 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 â90 and â91). 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 winnerâs podium again this year. But the German will be up against a Murdererâs 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, itâs not a matter of âifâ, itâs simply a matter of âwhen.â
Click the image to view the larger photo - use "back" to return here.
USA Are partypoker Mosconi Cup Champions
Team USA 11-8 Team Europe
Billy Thorpe 5â3 Jayson Shaw
Tyler Styer 1-5 Eklent Kaci Shane van Boening 5-3 Alex Kazakis Skyler Woodward 5-3 Joshua Filler
Team USA retained the partypoker Mosconi Cup with an 11-8 success over Team Europe on Thanksgiving at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The American side, aiming to repeat their win in London last year, began the final day with an 8-7 lead and made an early statement of intent as Billy Thorpe beat Jayson Shaw, the decisive moment coming in the seventh as Shaw punched the 3-ball to the top pocket but saw it rattle the draw, allowing Thorpe to take the rack and run out for victory in the next.
Eklent Kaci hit back in style for Europe, defeating Tyler Styer 5-1. Momentum swung back to the home side when Shane van Boening defeated Alexander Kazakis 5-3, taking America to the partypoker Mosconi Cup hill at 10-8.
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