Defending champion Zhao Xintong will be in Berlin for the final stages of the 2023 BetVictor German Masters, after defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif 5-1 in the last round of qualifying.
China’s Zhao emphatically won the title earlier this year, beating compatriot and close friend Yan Bingtao 9-0 in the final to get his hands on the Brandon Parker Trophy.
Zhao made breaks of 71, 108, 102 and 58 on his way to this afternoon’s victory over Asif. The 2021 UK Champion needed just 69 minutes to wrap up the win, averaging a rapid 15.4 seconds a shot.
Anthony McGill stormed to a spot in the final stages with a 5-0 demolition of Allan Taylor. Former Crucible semi-finalist McGill dropped just a single frame during the qualifying process, having recorded a 5-1 defeat of Jamie O’Neill yesterday. This afternoon’s tie saw two-time ranking event winner McGill compose breaks of 73, 58, 96 and 61 en route to victory.
Tom Ford earned a trip to Berlin with a 5-1 defeat of 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty. Ford continues his fine form, which saw him make the semi-finals of last week’s UK Championship.
Sam Craigie also carried his momentum from York, where he made the UK Championship quarter-finals. Craigie beat Jamie Clarke 5-2 to make the final stages.
Former European Masters winner Jimmy Robertson progressed with a 5-2 win over Jak Jones, while Tian Pengfei beat Michael White 5-2 to qualify.
The evening saw one of the shocks of the season so far, with tour rookie Peng Yisong defeating four-time World Champion Mark Selby 5-4. A steely break of 72 in the decider saw Peng move one match from the final stages. He faces Ian Burns up next.
In the morning session, some of snooker’s big names booked places in the final round of qualifying. Newly crowned UK Champion Mark Allen beat Peter Lines 5-2, Neil Robertson defeated Bai Langning 5-2 and Yan Bingtao scored a 5-2 victory against Rod Lawler.
Ashley Carty defeated Florian Nuessle 5-2 in the final to win the 2022/23 WPBSA Q Tour Playoff at the Q House Snooker Academy in Darlington and secure a two-year professional World Snooker Tour card for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 seasons.
Carty was relegated from the sport’s top tier only last year, but the Englishman bounces back quickly after emerging from the 16-player playoff in England’s north-east.
Heading into the event as the number 12 seed after semi and quarter-final finishes on the Q Tour this term, the 27-year-old’s playoff challenge was nearly over before it really began, as he found himself 3-0 down to Farakh Ajaib in the opening round.
However, Carty conjured up a brilliant comeback with a trio of half-centuries as he ousted his opponent in a deciding frame before eliminating youngster Hamim Hussain 4-1 in the last eight to reach Finals Day.
A winner on the English Amateur Tour this season and of the English 6-Red Championship only a few weeks ago, Carty needed to show more mettle as he fell 2-0 down to number one seed Ross Muir in the semi-finals. Once again, he was up to the task as he strung together four consecutive frames to advance into the final as a 4-2 victor.
Waiting for Carty in the title match was 21-year-old Nuessle, who was making the most of his very late call-up to the event after Daniel Wells’ withdrawal on Friday morning.
The reigning six-time Austrian national champion dispatched Josh Thomond 4-0 and Liam Davies 4-3 on Saturday before ending the hopes of Steven Hallworth 4-1 in Sunday’s last four to stand one further win away from becoming a professional for the first time.
Former Crucible qualifier Carty took firm control of the final early on as breaks of 71 and 55 helped him establish a 3-0 lead in the best-of-nine frames encounter. He also crafted a run of 57 in the fourth frame, but Nuessle potted brown, blue and pink to take it and get on the board.
Carty re-established a three-frame cushion with frame five and was within a few pots from victory before Nuessle cleared with a 25 to stay alive. However, Sheffield star Carty was not to be denied, as he wrapped up the win with the aid of a 58 break in frame seven.
Following his triumph, a jubilant Carty said: “It will probably take a few weeks to fully sink in but I’m just over the moon really. I’ve been working really hard lately on and off the table, and it’s really pleasing that it’s paying off. I feel that I’m in a good place at the minute and playing really well.”
Responding to the emotions he felt when 3-0 down to Ajaib in his opening match, Carty described: “It seems ages ago! At 3-0 down I was really nervous, especially in the first two frames I was shaking like a leaf and missing too many balls, but Farakh was giving me opportunities and I knew I had been playing well in practice so I knew to just quicken up a little bit and get into a good flow.”
Reacting to his return to the professional circuit and what it represents, the champion also said: “It means a lot. It has been a tough year financially but it’s been a big learning curve. I know where I have gone wrong for the last four years so hopefully, I can put that right now and kick on.
“This season on the amateur scene has taken me back to my junior days but it’s given me a kick up the backside and made me realise that I wasn’t putting enough work in as I should have done. In a way, it might have helped me.
“I’d like to say big thanks to my sponsors Celtic Surveys because without them this season probably wouldn’t have been possible to practice everyday and put the hard work in. I’d also like to say a big thank you to my friend Kev who had a word with me a couple of months ago and made me put some hard work in and it’s definitely paid off.”
Founded in 1923 in Belgium, Saluc SA created the brand Aramith which quickly became over the years the billiard ball reference in virtually all tournaments and championships around the world.
Located in Callenelle, a small village in the Belgian countryside, their fully-integrated factory is run by highly qualified and dedicated craftspeople who guarantee the highest quality standards.
Saluc SA is still today the only European manufacturer in the industry to produce its own phenolic resin from which their billiard balls are made. Specifically designed for cue sports, this resin provides unmatched characteristics to Aramith ball sets, offering a competitive edge both in terms of quality and performance.
THE 5TH GENERATION OF ARAMITH PHENOLIC RESIN
With the launch of the Aramith100 set, Aramith introduces the 5th generation of its phenolic resin and sets a new quality standard in the industry. This revolutionary resin has been combined with the DuramithTM Technology already used in the Aramith Tournament ball sets which became the reference for professional pool players, federations and organisations.
Thanks to a doubled vitrification layer, the Aramith100 is 5 times more resistant than the Aramith Tournament sets, and 3 times more resistant to wear, scratch and stain than any other phenol-like ball available on the market.
Aramith100 also provides a better anti-kick effect with enhanced anti-static properties, and offers an unprecedented level of consistency in terms of quality and performance within each ball in the set.
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Pool careers have a way of coming in waves that vary in both tempo and strength. Sometimes they’ll lap into shore without a lot of height (measured in cash rewards), but a dependable consistency. At other times, they’ll come crashing in with tremendous height and force, only to be followed in smaller increments until the next ‘big one’ comes along. For further information, see “Shuff, Brandon” from Maryland, whose largest and most consistent series of strong ‘waves’ reached shore in 2012. The biggest ‘wave’ of that year (single payout) came as a result of his presence on the USA’s Mosconi Cup team, which lost to Team Europe 11-9 on the last day of competition. He also chalked up a series of wins (3) on the Action Pool Tour, one on the Fast Eddie’s Tour in Texas and a variety of top-five finishes at events from coast to coast (16 in all, of 25 cash-carrying events for him that year). It became his best (recorded) earnings year, to date, since he first showed up and cashed on the Planet Pool Tour, almost 20 years ago in 2004.
Shuff’s had a couple of low-height (financially), though strong (strength of field) waves reach shore this year. He finished 35th and 59th in the Derby City Classic’s Banks and 9-Ball divisions, respectively, in January. This past weekend (April 1-2), he advanced to the hot seat, lost the opening match of a double-elimination final to Thomas Haas and then defeated him in a second set to claim the MD State Open 9-Ball Championship title. The event, held under the auspices of On The Hill Productions drew 75 entrants to Brew & Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD.
Like careers, pool matches can come to players in waves. Shuff and Haas, battling against a ‘Who’s Who’ list of familiar-to-them, Mid-Atlantic (and from elsewhere) competitors, finished the event with close, average win/loss records; Shuff ahead with 66% (49-25) and Haas with 58% (56-39). Their opponents chalked up an average of just over three racks for Shuff and four against Haas.
Shuff received an opening round bye and advanced through Frank Wei (2), Richard Musser (4) and Joseph Tomkowski (5) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against long-time area rival, Brett Stottlemeyer in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Haas, without a bye, downed Eric Lyons (5), Zachary Paitsel (3), Tom Zippler (4), Jimmy Varias (5) and Chris Jenkins (3) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus Josh Brothers.
Shuff and Haas chalked up 7-3 wins over Stottlemeyer and Brothers to square off in the hot seat match. They battled to a predictable double-hill final game in the match before Shuff prevailed to grab the ‘seat.’
On the loss side, Stottlemeyer drew a familiar, long-time rival (on the Action Pool Tour, primarily) Chris Bruner, who’d survived a double-hill match against Tarek Elmalla and eliminated Grayson Vaughn 7-3 to reach him. Josh Brothers picked up Jimmy Varias, who’d recently defeated Bobby Pacheco 7-1 and Grai Rasmechai 7-4.
Brothers and Varia locked up in a double-hill battle that eventually sent Varias to the quarterfinals. Bruner and Stottlemeyer almost got into a double-hill match, until Bruner edged out in front to defeat him 7-5. Bruner ended Varias’ bid 7-3 in those quarterfinals.
Haas earned his potential two-set rematch against Shuff with a 7-4 win over Bruner in the semifinals and proceeded to take the opening set of those finals 7-2. By the same score, Shuff took the second set to claim the event title.
On the Hill Productions’ Loye Bolyard thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues on the Boulevard for their hospitality, along with sponsors Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region, Safe Harbor Retirement Planners, Gina Cunningham with Keller Williams Integrity, AZBilliards.com and DigitalPool.com. The next MD State Championship, a Women’s 9-Ball Championship, scheduled for May 20-21 at Brews & Cues.
Five Chicago residents are $10,000 richer after a recent visit to Sin City. But their good fortune didn’t happen in the casino. The team of the Apocalypsticks won the 2019 APA Ladies 8-Ball Championship last month in Las Vegas. The Apocalypsticks were one of only 256 worldwide to qualify for the American Poolplayers Association’s (APA) Ladies 8-Ball Championship held at the Westgate Resort & Casino. The Apocalypsticks took home $10,000 and ultimate bragging rights upon returning home to their local poolroom. Team members include: Courtney Glascoe, Darlene Dantes, Silva McDermott, Crystal Banks and Nicole Riggio.
The teammates are members of the Chicago APA Pool League that includes nearly 1,500 players. The Ladies 8-Ball Championship, held Aug. 11 – 14, was part of the APA’s World Championships ,which featured six divisions, nearly 15,000 total players and more than $1.2 million in prize money. Here’s the video of the Apocalpysticks’ championship match against the Femmes Fatales of Brentwood, New York:
* The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League, throughout the United States, and the Canadian Pool League in Canada. Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play. The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards. The APA produces four major tournaments each year – the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the U.S. Amateur Championship and the APA Junior Championships – that, together, pay out nearly $2 million in cash and prizes annually. The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues, PoolDawg and Valley-Dynamo. – See also:Meet The Apocalypsticks. – Comments welcome.
Kyren Wilson swept Barry Hawkins aside 9-3 to land the fifth ranking title of his career with victory in the final of the BetVictor European Masters at the Stadthalle in Fürth.
Germany is a happy hunting ground for Wilson, who has now won three of his five ranking tournaments here. Fürth in particular holds special memories for the Kettering cueman, as he also won the Paul Hunter Classic at the Stadhalle in 2018 and was runner-up in 2019. Tonight’s win ends a two-year ranking title drought for Wilson, which extended back to the 2020 BetVictor Championship League.
The £80,000 top prize catapults 30-year-old Wilson to the top of the BetVictor Series rankings. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the eight qualifying events will land a bumper £150,000 bonus. Victory will also see Wilson move from eighth to sixth place in the world rankings.
Hawkins has now lost his last four ranking finals, as well as suffering defeat in the title match of the Masters last season. The Londoner last lifted ranking silverware at the 2017 World Grand Prix. He leaves Bavaria with the consolation of the £35,000 runner-up prize.
It was Wilson who emerged from this afternoon’s play with a commanding 6-2 advantage, leaving him needing just three frames for the title.
Wilson extended his cushion by taking the first of the evening on the black to move five ahead. However, Hawkins showed his resilience by taking the tenth to keep himself in contention at 7-3. It was to no avail, as Wilson claimed two on the bounce to get over the line.
“We both lost our timing today. You’d have to say we are the two form players of the week, we’ve produced some great snooker. It just didn’t quite happen today in terms of the standard. I set my mind on winning ugly. It was all about getting the trophy today and I was really pleased to do that,” said 2020 Crucible finalist Wilson.
“I enjoy that I am appreciated here in Germany. That may sound silly, but every shot here produces a rapturous applause. The crowds always turn out in their numbers here. I always perform my best when the atmosphere is good and when I feel like I’m wanted.
“This is the first major ranking event of the season. To get it under my belt early makes me feel like I can settle and I can kick on. Once you’ve banked one you hope it could pave the way for a few more, but it is just about enjoying this one tonight.”
Hawkins said: “I am very disappointed. It was a struggle all day and the way the match went it could have been 9-3 to me. I wish it was. Kyren stuck to his task and picked me off. It was a bad day. You know it is bad when you are playing for reds that don’t even go.
“The atmosphere is always good in Germany. The fans here are very enthusiastic and the players love coming here. We always get well supported and we really appreciate it. Please keep coming in the future.”
Gary Wilson has leapt to fifth place on the one-year ranking list with just one counting event to go before the field is confirmed for the World Grand Prix.
Wilson won the first ranking title of his career by beating Joe O’Connor 9-2 in the final of the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh on Sunday. The £80,000 top prize boosted him up 47 places from 52nd.
At the end of next week’s BetVictor English Open, the top 32 players on the one-year list will qualify for the World Grand Prix, to be staged in Cheltenham from January 16 to 22.
Un-Nooh: now just inside the top 32
O’Connor earned £35,000 for reaching his first ranking final, so he’s up from 69th to 13th and is now sure of a place in Cheltenham. Neil Robertson reached the semi-finals and leaps from 43rd to 24th, while Thepchaiya Un-Nooh also made the last four and he’s up from 59th to 31st with a total tally of £30,500. Robertson is £4,500 ahead of Un-Nooh, with Mark Selby a further £1,000 inside the safe zone. Ronnie O’Sullivan is in 17th spot with £37,500.
Jamie Clarke and Jordan Brown are tied in 32nd spot, but both failed to qualify for the BetVictor English Open in Brentwood so in fact they are out of the running.
Big names currently outside the top 32 and in need of a deep run in Brentwood are Yan Bingtao (42nd with £21,500), Zhao Xintong (44th with £21,500) and John Higgins (74th with £12,000). Four-time World Champion Higgins will have to reach the final in Brentwood to get into the top 32.
BetVictor English Open prize money:
Winner: £80,000 Runner-up: £35,000 Semi-finals: £17,500 Quarter-finals: £11,000 Last 16: £7,500 Last 32: £4,500 Last 64: £3,000 High break: £5,000 Total: £427,000
The same one-year list will be used to determine the field for the other two events in the Players Series. The top 16 at the the end of the BetVictor Welsh Open in February will qualify for the Players Championship at Aldersley Village, Wolverhampton (February 20 to 26) and only the top eight will go on to the Tour Championship at the Bonus Arena in Hull (March 27 to April 2).
On the official two-year list, Wilson climbs from 32nd to 18th, while O’Connor jumps from 55th to 40th. Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the official world number one, with a lead of £211,000 over Judd Trump.
Wilson is up to second place in the BetVictor Series Rankings, just £7,000 behind leader Kyren Wilson. Mark Allen is third, just £1,000 behind Gary Wilson. There are four events to go in that race, with the money list leader after February’s BetVictor Welsh Open to bank the massive £150,000 bonus.
Tickets for all of these tournaments are on sale now – for details click here.
Stevens won this title in 2003 and the 45-year-old has given himself a chance of another deep run. The draw for the last 32 will take place at the end of the afternoon session on Thursday, with the top 16 seeds to be picked out at random against the 16 qualifiers. Former world number four Stevens is now ranked 60th but has shown improved form in 2022, notably qualifying for the Crucible and reaching the last 16 of two other ranking events.
Breaks of 126, 63, 75 and 57 saw Welshman Stevens race into a 4-0 lead. China’s Wu, Rookie of the Year in 2021/22, took the next three frames within 36 minutes with runs of 73, 87 and 55.
Stevens led 50-1 in frame eight but his opponent hit back to snatch it on the colours for 4-4. Wu also took the ninth, but Stevens made a 91 for 5-5 and a break of 58 in the decider proved enough.
“At 4-1 I could see that Wu fancied it,” said Stevens. “Before I knew it, it was 4-4. I should have gone 5-3 so when he won that frame and then went ahead it wasn’t looking good. I don’t know how I managed to turn it around and win the last two frames but it feels good and I’m very happy to still be in it. Wu is some talent for a 19-year-old, he looks like he’s going to be a fantastic player.”
Iran’s Hossein Vafaei booked his spot in York with a 6-4 success over Robbie Williams. Runs of 127 and 111 helped put Shoot Out champion Vafaei 3-1 ahead. Williams battled back bravely after the interval and the match looked in the balance at 5-4, but runs of 47 and 25 gave Vafaei frame ten.
“I am so pleased to qualify because it’s one of our biggest tournaments,” said the world number 20. “I wasn’t cueing well today, I missed a few balls. I started thinking about my technique and trying something different in every frame. Then it’s difficult to find your way, that’s why snooker is so hard. I have about 25 different cue actions – I don’t know how I’m playing!
“But every day is different and I just keep going. I don’t mind who I play in York, they all have two arms and two legs and they can all make 147s.”
China’s Lyu Haotian eased to a 6-1 win over Andy Hicks with top breaks of 92, 106 and 69. A frustrated Hicks smashed the pack of reds from the break in frame seven but to no avail as Lyu took it to wrap up the result.
Northern Ireland Open runner-up Zhou Yuelong saw off Jak Jones 6-3 with breaks of 78, 117, 84 and 72.
Judgement Day continues on Thursday from 1pm with eight more places to be won.
At one time, Michigan was a hotbed of the billiard world. Home of the National Billiard News, the greats would converge on the Livonia area for the many straight pool and three cushion events that were held at one of the three Cushion & Cue rooms that were owned by Ray Abrams. In fact, it was his 1979 straight pool tournament which was the first event to which I flew rather than drive. The US Open One Pocket Championship was held for several years starting in 1994 at the Billiards Playground in Kalamazoo attracting the greats as well.
This past week, owner Issa Eadah and his family welcomed players back to Michigan for their $7,000 added One Pocket Classic held at the Rack in Livonia. Local sponsors included S.A.W. Concrete LLC, Littman Lights, 20 After 4 Delivery, Joseph J. Long, Attorney At Law, The Rack and PoolActionTV.com
Spotted was one of the most prolific one pocket champs of the last three years, Roberto Gomez, as well as the 1996 US Open One Pocket champ, Jayme Goodwin. Other well-known names were there such as Michigan’s Jeremy Seaman, Derek Pogirski, Mike Sardelli and Marty Sawinski in addition to Tommy Midena, Aaron Toth, Ilir Jaho, Shane Winters and young gun Sergio Rivas.
Thirty seven players posted their $250 entry fees to play in this double elimination event. Played on Diamond tables with Measles cue balls, the format for this event was alternate break, races to three with one extended race to five for the finals.
After the players auction and meeting, the action began. Shooting out of the gate were Sergio Rivas and Roberto Gomez. After winning their first three matches, they butted heads and, to say the least, it was a battle. Roberto finally edged out Sergio 3-2 and then went on to blitz Midena 3-0 to arrive at the hot seat match.
In the lower portion of the bracket, it was Marc Hosler and “Ann Arbor Derek” Pogirski who won their first three matches before meeting. Marc took that match 3-1, won a tough match with Shane Winters 3-2 and went on to play Roberto in the hot seat match.
Down to the case game, Hosler then upset Gomez 3-2 in the semi-finals and locked up his berth in the finals. Gomez headed west to await an opponent.
After losing his third match to Gomez, Ilir Jaho eliminated opponents Tyler Thornton, Marty Sawinski, Rick Schroeder, Derek Pogirski and Tommy Midena.
Jeremy Seaman drew a first round bye and then was unceremoniously dumped into the one loss bracket in his next match against Ned Harb 3-1. From there, Jeremy took dead aim and tore through Curtis Thornton, Chad Munson, Bobby Ballard, Jayme Goodwin, Sergio Rivas, Mike Sardelli and Shane Winters before he was stopped by Ilar 3-2.
Jaho’s run to the finals was stopped by a determined Gomez 3-2 – Ilar finished third.
As the finals was one extended race to five, fans settled in for what they thought would be another battle between these two but after a 1-1 tie, Roberto raced to the hill. Marc won the next game to make it 4-2 but that was it as Gomez won the next game to close it out & claim another one pocket title!
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank owner Issa Eadah, his family and their staff for making their inaugural event a success.
We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Ray Hansen and his assistant, Jason Hill, for another great job. Special thanks to Betsy Sundholm for all her help throughout the event.
In addition, thanks to commentators, Larry Schwartz, Scott Frost, Derek Pogirski, “Frenchie” Lunda and Ray Hansen for their very knowledgeable commentary.
And, lastly, thanks to our fans and sponsors. They include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Savage Billiards, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH, The Rack and The Rack One Pocket Classic.
Check out the Ed Hancock vs Roberto Gomez Ten Ball Challenge at 9 PM EST on April 3rd. Held at Buckeye Billiards & Sports Bar in Mansfield, OH, they’ll be racing to 17 – Ed gets the 7! The best part – it’s free to watch!
Our next event is the Sixth Annual $15,000 added Scotty Townsend Memorial held at the newly remodeled Arena Billiards in West Monroe, LA. Featuring four events – Pro One Pocket, Women’s 9 Ball, a 10 Ball Mini and Open 9 Ball – the dates are April 25th-30th! Hope to see you there!
World Champion O’Sullivan enters the fray on Monday at 1pm in York, against former UK Champion Matthew Stevens. Trump gets going on Tuesday at 1pm against Xiao Guodong. Below is the first round schedule.
Sunday November 13, 1pm Neil Robertson v Joe Perry Luca Brecel v Lyu Haotian
Sunday November 13, 7pm John Higgins v Tom Ford Barry Hawkins v Ding Junhui
Monday November 14, 1pm Ronnie O’Sullivan v Matthew Stevens Yan Bingtao v Zhou Yuelong
Monday November 14, 7pm Mark Williams v Jamie Clarke Stuart Bingham v Liam Highfield
Tuesday November 15, 1pm Judd Trump v Xiao Guodong Jack Lisowski v Xu Si
Tuesday November 15, 7pm Mark Selby v Hossein Vafaei Shaun Murphy v David Gilbert