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Latest Report from the World Pool Series Predator Grand Finale

A Pro9 - Europe\'s No.1 Pool Player Resource Article

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Date: Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 20:56:50 UTC
Topic: 8 Ball



World Pool Series - 4th Series
Steinway Cafe-Billiards
3525 Steinway St.
Astoria
New York
USA
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27 September - 1 October 2017 - Predator Grand Finale


18 year old Albanian Klenti Kaci
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Predators Galore In Final Four
Kaci, Wu, Makkonen and Orcollo make up stellar semi-final at the Predator Grand Finale of the World Pool Series in New York.

Article - Ted Lerner - WPS Media Officer
Photography - ©JP Parmentier/WPS


(New York City)– The fourth leg of the World Pool Series, the Predator Grand Finale, has come down to the final four, and it’ll be two Europeans and two Asians contesting what has quickly become one of professional pool’s sternest tests.

In the first semi-final, which will break off at 12noon EST(-4 GMT), 18year old Albanian sensation Klenti Kaci will lock horns with Taiwanese sharp shooter Wu Ku Lin. In the second semi-final which begins at 3pm, Finland’s Petri Makkonen will do battle with Filipino veteran and former World 8-ball champion, Dennis Orcollo.

All eyes seem to be squarely upon the talk and good looking Kaci, as his game and temperament seem impervious to any outside pressure and distractions. Since he shocked the pool world by winning the second leg of the World Pool Series, the Aramith Masters , back in April, the high school student has been riding a wave of confidence and hasn’t stopped playing in various spots around the world. Last week in Virginia, he proved once and for all that he was no flash in the pan by making it all the way to the finals of the prestigious US Open, where he lost to Scotland’s Jayson Shaw.



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On Thursday at Steinway Billiards in Queens, Kaci first squared off with Taiwanese superstar Ko Pin Yi in the round of 16. Kaci, playing methodically and with his trademark dead eyed position and cueing, got out to an early lead and never looked back, winning the match, 11-6.

In the quarterfinals, the Albanian came up against relatively unknown Greek player Damianos Gaillourakis. Gaillourakis continued his impressive run in the round of 16 with an 11-9 win over American Shaun Wilkie. Against Kaci, the Greek youngster seemed to hold on to the magic early and held a slim 7 -4 and 8-6. But from there Kaci bore down and seemed to wear out Gaillourakis. The Albanian won 11-8.

Kaci’s match against Wu promises to produce some marvelous pool. In the round of 16, Wu disposed of fellow Taiwanese Chang Yu Leung, 11-6. Then in the quarters he faced off with another compatriot in Chang Jung Lin, who had earlier taken down American Frankie Hernandez.

Wu Ku Lin won a thrilling shootout against fellow Taiwanese Chang Jun Lin to advance to the semi finals.
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Chang had put in several outstanding performances this week at Steinway which led many to favor him to go all the way. Both Wu and Chang didn’t disappoint, with each putting on an 8-ball clinic on the wildly difficult TV table with its 4 inch pockets. The Taiwanese pair stayed close throughout and Wu held his nerve at the end to tie the match at 10-10 to send the contest to a deciding shootout. There Wu held his nerve and pocketed three spot shots to Chang’s two, to advance to the semi-finals.

Makkonen has long been known to pool fans as the partner of Mika Immonen in the World Cup of Pool, but this week in New York, the burly Finn has stepped up to claim the spotlight for himself. In the round of 16, Makkonen absolutely crushed England’s Chris Melling, 11-2. Then he headed for the TV table where he squared off with red hot Jayson Shaw. Shaw has earlier laid down his own marker with an 11-2 drubbing of Russia’s Ruslan Chinakov.


Finland’s Petri Makkonen
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Shaw got out to a slim early lead, but Makkonen hung tight and took his first lead at 4-3, and never looked back. Shaw stayed close and even moved to within 10-9, but the Scotsman couldn’t cash his chips, and Makkonen held his nerve on the final run for an impressive win.

Makkonen will now have to match wits with an 8-ball master in Orocollo. The Filipino endured a 4 hour slog of a match in the round of 16 against Alex Pagulayan, in which both players basically did little more than play safe for the most of the afternoon. In the quarters, Orcollo met up with Greece’s Alex Kazakis, who had earlier defeated the Philippines Jeffrey De Luna. The Filipino proved just too crafty and won the match 11-8.

Both semi-finals will be race to 11, winner breaks. The final, which will take place at 7:30pm, will be a race to 13, winner breaks.

The champion will receive $14,000. The total prize fund is $65,000.


Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines
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*The fourth event of the World Pool Series, The Predator Grand Finale, is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from October 31-Nov. 3, 2017. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Predator, UNILAD, RYO Rack, Aramith, Molinari, Cheqio, Iwan Simonis, Kamui, Billiards Digest, Cuescore, Ultimate Team Gear, Tiger, and High Rock Productions.

The World Pool Series is on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/

Tickets are now available for the third leg of the World Pool Series, The RYO Rack Classic, which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2017 at Steinway Billiards, Astoria, Queens, New York City.

Tickets can also be purchased online through Ticketspice here:

Predator Grand Finale Ticket Prices

Day 1 Pass: October 31, 2017    $15

Day 2 Pass: November 1, 2017 $15

Day 3 Pass: November 2, 2017 $20

Day 4 Pass: November 3, 2017 $20

General Seating Full Event (4 days) $50 (28% Savings)

VIP Preferred Seating Full Event (4 days) $85 (22% Savings)

The action begins at 10am daily and runs throughout the day.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.


DAY 1 REPORT


Former World 8-ball champion, Taiwan’s Chang Jun Lin , put in the best performance of the day with a win over Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann.
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Only The Strong Will Survive
8-ball champs shine on Day 1 of the World Pool Series’ Predator Grand Finale in NYC

Article - Ted Lerner - WPS Media Officer
Photography - ©JP Parmentier/WPS


(New York City)–As Jayson Shaw has spent the last 18 months rocketing to the top of the pool world, one opponent has consistently provided fodder for some of his most memorable comebacks in the sport’s biggest events.

In the semi-finals at the US Open in 2016, Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi looked set to send Shaw packing, only to see the Scotsman roar back at crunch time and win at the wire. A few weeks later in the semis at the Kuwait Open, Shaw did it again, storming back from a 10-6 deficit to oust the Taiwanese great, 11-10, on his way to the winner’s circle. And just last week in Virginia at the 2017 US Open, Shaw stormed back from another 4 rack deficit to clip Ko yet again.

So before Tuesday’s first round matchup between Shaw and Ko at the World Pool Series’ Predator Grand Finale in New York, it’s not surprising that Ko told Shaw with a wry smile: “I don’t like to play you again.”

Ko, however, needn’t have worried as Shaw came to New York still buzzing from his spectacular performance at the US Open and, with the celebrations still raging in his head, seemed to lack focus and intensity. The superstar pair split the first six racks but from there, Ko stepped up his attack and routed Shaw, 9-3.

Ko then went on to handily defeat Estonia’s Dennis Grabe to stay unbeaten on the winner’s side, while Shaw moved to the losers side of the double elimination bracket and will look to get his head and stroke into the contest again Wednesday.


Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi extracted a bit of revenge on nemesis Jayson Shaw
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It was a busy first day at Steinway Billiards in Queens as the stacked field of 69 players took to the blue pitch playing under some of the toughest 8-ball conditions ever seen. Breaking from side boxes, take what you make, and especially the 4” corner pockets and 4.5” side pockets all wreaked havoc on the players. Since the beginning back in January the World Pool Series has been designed to reward the best players and to punish the pretenders. That plan has clearly worked.

Taiwan’s Chang Jung Lin and Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann are two of the world’s top 8-ball players. Chang reached the promised land in 2012 when he won the WPA World 8-ball Championship in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. Hohmman once pocketed $350,000 for winning the IPT North American Classic. This class pair both won their first round matches and then met up in the UNILAD TV arena, but it was Chang who put in the performance of the day with an 8-ball masterpiece, winning going away, 9-4.

The Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo won the WPA World 8-ball Championship in 2011. In a second round winner’s side match against fellow Filipino great Lee Vann Corteza, Orcollo showed he plans on making some big noise this week in New York with a masterful performance, winning 9-3.

American Skylar Woodward, who won the previous World Pool Series event in July, lost his first round match to Ko’s younger brother, Ko Ping Chun, 9-7. Woodward went over to the 1-loss side and matched up with 14 year old Thailand phenom Phaa Hmaunpao. Phaa had the crowd at Steinway in awe earlier in her loss to American Tommy Tokoph, jumping out to a 4-0 lead against Tokoph before the American got it together to take the match. The diminutive Thai showed incredible potting skills and cue ball control, but her small stature means she lacks power to get a spread on the balls on the break shot. Phaa put in another great performance against Woodward but the more experienced American proved too much class and won, knocking Phaa out of the event.


14 year old Phaa Hmaunpao lost twice on Tuesday but wowed the crowd with her surreal skills.
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Other winners on day one included 18 year old Albanian sensation Klenti Kaci. Kaci, who won the 2nd event of the World Pool Series in April, stayed unbeaten with two wins today, first over England’s Daryl Peach, then over Philippine veteran Ronnie Alcano. Russia’s Ruslan Chinakov, who took the first World Pool Series event back in January, won twice on Tuesday. Also staying on the winners side with two wins were Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, the USA’s Hunter Lombardo, the Philippines Johann Chua and Taiwan’s Chang Yu Leung.

The Predator Grand Finale continues on Tuesday with a full slate of double elimination round matches. After Tuesday’s play is complete, the field will be down to 16 players where the format will change to single elimination knockout and winner breaks, race to 11. The final, which will be played on Friday, will be race to 13, winner breaks.

The winner of the Predator Grand Finale will receive $14,000. The total prize fund is $65,000.

Once again fans around the world will also be able to watch the World Pool Series absolutely free on the device of their choice through social media giant Unilad. Visit the World Pool Series Facebook Page to get broadcast times.

*The fourth event of the World Pool Series, The Predator Grand Finale, is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from October 31-Nov. 3, 2017. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Predator, UNILAD, RYO Rack, Aramith, Molinari, Cheqio, Iwan Simonis, Kamui, Billiards Digest, Cuescore, Ultimate Team Gear, Tiger, and High Rock Productions.

The World Pool Series is on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/

Tickets are now available for the third leg of the World Pool Series, The RYO Rack Classic, which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2017 at Steinway Billiards, Astoria, Queens, New York City.

Tickets can also be purchased online through Ticketspice here:

Predator Grand Finale Ticket Prices

Day 1 Pass: October 31, 2017    $15

Day 2 Pass: November 1, 2017 $15

Day 3 Pass: November 2, 2017 $20

Day 4 Pass: November 3, 2017 $20

General Seating Full Event (4 days) $50 (28% Savings)

VIP Preferred Seating Full Event (4 days) $85 (22% Savings)

The action begins at 10am daily and runs throughout the day.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.


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