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Chris Melling Wins the 8-Ball Classic Championship
 Posted on Tuesday, August 07 2018 @ 15:13:45 UTCby admin
8 Ball World Pool Series - 8-Ball Classic Championship
IDM Club
Spl. Independentei 319B
Bucharest
Romania
www.worldpoolseries.com - facebook - instagram - twittter - results - watch live
www.idmclub.ro - facebook

7-10 August 2018


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Chris Melling Wins the 8-Ball Classic Championship

Article - Shirley Ang/WPS
Photography - ©A. Ivanov/WPS


Chris Melling continues to have one of his best seasons since returning to pocket billiards from snooker four years ago.

The stocky Englishman jumped out to a huge lead against Jayson Shaw then nearly gave the match away before rallying late to defeat friend and occasional roommate in the finals of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship Friday evening at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.

It was the second significant victory for Melling in 2018, having won the 9-ball competition of the Derby City Classic earlier in the year. He was also the runner-up in the ICEA Chinese Pool World Championships and finished third at the WPS Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship earlier in the year.

“I feel like I deserved it. I felt like I took most of my chances,” Melling said after the match.

The early stages of the title session were almost a mirror image to Melling’s semifinal match earlier in the day against Ioan Ladanyi, as he used a pair of dry breaks from Shaw coupled with three breaks-and-runs to build a 5-1 lead. He committed his first unforced error in the eighth game, misplaying position on the 15-ball and ultimately missing the shot. After Shaw cleared the table to cut the deficit to 6-2, Melling used two unforced errors and a dry break from Shaw and added in a break-and-run to win four consecutive racks and surge ahead, 10-2.

However, Shaw would not go quietly into the Romanian night.

He cleared the table after Melling missed the 9-ball in the 13th game, broke-and-ran and capitalized on two missed shots and a dry break by Melling to cut the lead to 10-6 heading into a 15-minute intermission. Shaw continued applying pressure after the break, taking advantage of a misplayed safety and another missed shot by Melling while mixing in another break-and-run to cut the lead to 12-10. Shaw pulled within one game when he ran out after Melling failed to pocket a ball on the break in the 23rd game.

“Jayson just showed how much character he has. The will to win from being 10-2 down against me,” Melling said. “Without blowing my own trumpet, there’s no one in the world who can get close to me when I’m 10-2 in front and he just showed how good he is.”

That’s as close as Shaw would get. Melling ran out the 24th and 26th games after Shaw broke dry on both occasions. He added a break-and-run of his own in the 25th rack to push the lead to 16-11. Shaw finally landed a ball on the break and ran out in the 28th game, but it was too little too late as Melling did the same to close out the match in the subsequent game.

Shaw struggled with the break throughout the championship, failing to pocket a ball seven times in 14 opportunities. The Scotsman said after the match he didn’t feel that all of the balls were frozen to each other on some racks, adding that rules prohibited requesting a re-rack regardless.

“I’m not disappointed in losing. I’m disappointed in not getting the balls touching,” Shaw said.

“He was very unlucky with his breaks. The dry breaks cost him the match. That’s the in and the out of it really. Anyone who plays pool knows that.” Melling said.

The 8-Ball Classic Championship is the third event of the four-tournament 2018 World Pool Series. This event will be held at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania from August 7th to 10th 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Rasson, Aramith, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Outsville, and the WPA.



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The Final - Part One
The Final - Part Two


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Semifinal Two


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Shaw Advances over Kaci to Face Melling in the Final

Entering the semifinals of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship, Jayson Shaw wasn’t feeling well.

A meal from the previous night had upset his stomach and the Scotsman spent most of the early morning hours awake dealing with nausea and taking pills to relieve the ailment.

“I still feel inside like my stomach is pretty tight,” Shaw said after the match. “My head was sore earlier. That’s why I was throwing up.”

In order to take his mind off of his health, Shaw instead focused on his match with Eklent Kaci. Although his gut was far from healthy his game appeared to be in top form as Shaw used two dazzling and timely kick-ins to handily defeat the two-time WPS champion at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania Friday afternoon.

“I just tried to focus and calm myself down. I’m trying to focus more on my game because it’s easy to just keep focusing on being sick.”

Shaw pounced early, using dry breaks from his opponent as well as a couple of timely missed shots by Kaci to win six of the first eight games – including the sixth game in which he found himself snookered and kicked off of the near corner rail and pocketed the 8-ball in the side pocket. The Scotsman then won five consecutive racks to take an 11-2 lead while Kaci failed to find a serviceable break shot in the match’s middle stages.

Shaw saved some of his most superlative and creative shot making for the end. Leading 11-3, he appeared positioned to extend his lead once again in the 15th game but left the 11-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws. Kaci responded by playing a safety which left the cue ball completely hidden at the far end of the same side of the table as the 11-ball. Shaw lifted his cue and executed a table-length kick masse shot, pocketing the object ball then bouncing out just far enough for position on the game-winning 8-ball.

Kaci struggled with his break shot throughout the session, breaking eight times overall and failing to pocket a ball in six of those. He also was plagued with unforced errors, missing shots in the fourth, fifth and 11th games and scratching while attempting a bank shot in the 12th rack.

“He made a few mistakes that he doesn’t normally make. I put him under pressure and that’s what happens when you put someone under pressure: they make mistakes,” Shaw said. “Sometimes when he’s in front he’s hard to catch, but if you put pressure on him he will miss.”

Shaw advances to the finals where he will face a familiar opponent in Chris Melling at 6 p.m. local time. In addition to staying with Shaw when he’s competing in the United States, Melling also has been rooming with the reigning U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion at the hotel in Romania this week.



Semifinal One


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Melling First into the Final

In the end, the only loss Chris Melling would sustain in his match against Ioan Ladanyi was a loss of concentration.

The Englishman jumped out to a big lead early and coasted to an easy 13-5 victory against Ladanyi in the semifinals of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship at the IDM Club in Bucharest Friday morning. Despite the victory, Melling’s performance appeared shaky at times – admitting later that he struggled with focus as well as confidence during the session.

The Englishman opened the race-to-13 match with a break-and-run, then soon found himself ahead 6-0 after two dry breaks and three missed shots by Ladanyi. The Romanian got on the scoreboard after Melling overran position on the 6-ball then committed a foul in the seventh game. Melling appeared positioned to win the following game to take a 7-1 lead but watched as the cue ball took a bigger bounce off of the side rail than he anticipated and overran position on the 8-ball.

“I was brilliant but as soon as that happened I started questioning myself,” Melling said after the match. “The next two-or-three frames I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Ladanyi ultimately won that eighth game and had the opportunity to win the ninth but committed an unforced error. Melling used two breaks-and-runs and another error from his opponent to build an 11-3 lead. The Romanian continued to battle until the end, winning the 15th and 17th games, but eliminated any hope of a comeback when he scratched on the break in the 18th game.

The top four finish was an impressive showing for the Ladanyi. The Romanian lost his second match of the tournament to Russia’s Fedor Gorst, 11-9, then won five straight matches to reach the semifinals – including victories against former WPS champion Ruslan Chinahov and a rematch with Gorst in the quarterfinals.

“He’s a good player and I think he did Romania proud,” Melling said.

Melling will face the winner of the second semifinal between Jayson Shaw and Eklent Kaci scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. local time., with the championship match slated for 6 p.m. local time.



The Quarterfinals


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Shaw Shoots Hohmann Down

When it comes to movies and books, the rule of thumb is that the sequel rarely is better than the original.

Thursday night, Thorsten Hohmann and Jayson Shaw were the exception to this belief.

Fresh off of a lopsided loss at the hands of Shaw on Wednesday, Hohmann jumped out to an early lead and nearly pulled off the upset before losing in a sudden death shootout in the quarterfinals of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship at the IDM Club in Bucharest.

“I’m just happy to get over the finish line,” Shaw said after the match. “It was a very tough match and it’s disappointing that one of us has to lose.”

Hohmann took advantage of a couple of Shaw dry breaks early and jumped out to a 4-0 lead. He had an opportunity to increase his lead to 5-0 but committed an unforced error which allowed Shaw to get on the board instead. Hohmann used an unforced error by Shaw in the ninth game as well as a pair of run-outs after his break to build an 8-4 advantage but the Scotsman slowly chipped away at the lead.

Shaw won two quick games to cut the lead to 8-6 then took advantage of a misplayed 8-ball by his opponent to cut the lead to one. Three consecutive breaks and runs by both opponents left Hohmann with a 10-8 advantage in a race to 13 but Shaw responded by scratching out three straight wins to take an 11-10 lead. Hohmann again tied the match with a break and run and returned to the table in the 23rd game when Shaw failed to pocket a ball on the break.

Feeling the pressure of the moment, Hohmann laboriously worked his way through the balls while trying to maintain control of the cue ball. After partially blocking his path to the 7-ball, Hohmann pocketed the ball with a touch of spin then executed a tough cut shot on the 8-ball into the corner pocket to climb onto the hill.

Hohmann had a chance to close out the match in regulation but missed a difficult 10-ball after his break shot. Shaw ran out to force a sudden death shootout in which he made three of the overtime shots while Hohmann was shut out. Shaw stated after the match that he practices shootout shots on his Chinese 8-ball table at home.

“I was feeling the pressure a little bit at the end of the match. I was behind the whole match,” Shaw said.

The match was a stark contrast to the previous day’s match on the winner’s side, which Shaw won handily, 11-6.

Shaw will face Eklent Kaci of Albania, who put on a dominating performance in a 13-4 victory against Poland’s Daniel Maciol. Using a fierce break shot, Kaci jumped out to an early 4-0 lead then rattled off seven consecutive victories while Maciol struggled to pocket balls on the break.

“My break was working,” Said Kaci after the match. “I was breaking as hard as I can trying to make a ball on the break. It’s hard to win against good players with dry breaks.”

Maciol attempted a late rally, winning two games to cut Kaci’s lead to 12-4, but any hopes of a comeback dissolved when he left a 2-ball near the corner pocket in the 17th game.

Semifinal action begins Friday at 11 a.m. local time with Chris Melling taking on Romania’s own Ioan Ladanyi, with Kaci and Shaw starting at 7 a.m.

Melling opened quarterfinals action Thursday with a 13-9 defeat of Wojciech Szewczyk of Poland while Ladanyi overcame an early 7-2 deficit to upset Fedor Gorst of Russia.



The Quarterfinals


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Ladanyi and Melling First to the Semifinals

Romania’s Ioan Ladanyi and England’s Chris Melling have punched their tickets to the semifinals of the 8-Ball Classic Championship.

Playing in his home country, Ladanyi overcame a 7-2 deficit to upset Russia’s Fedor Gorst, 13-11 at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania. Ladanyi took advantage of a handful of unforced errors and missed opportunities by the previously unbeaten Gorst to gut out the three-and-a-half hour match.

“A crazy match,” Ladanyi said through a translator after the match. “It was an unpredictable match. I was down at first but was able to come back.”

Gorst used two dry breaks, a scratch on the break and a missed shot by Ladanyi as well as two breaks-and-runs to build an early lead. Ladanyi responded in the middle stages of the match, taking advantage of two dry breaks from his opponent and adding in two breaks-and-runs to win six of eight racks to pull within one game. Gorst gutted out a 20th game that included safeties and missed shots by both players to regain a two-game lead but gave the very next rack away when he accidentally pocketed the 8-ball out of turn in the 21st game.

Ladanyi used a break-and-run in the 22nd game then capitalized when Gorst failed to complete a run out after the break in the following rack to take a 12-11 lead. Remaining at the table with the break, Ladanyi worked through the set-clinching game like an excavator, breaking up two frozen clusters of balls near the rack to clear the balls and advance to tomorrow’s semifinals.

Ladanyi will face Melling, who took advantage of the early breaking struggles of Wojciech Szewczyk, then held off a late comeback to win, 13-9.

“He just made a couple of mistakes and a couple of dry breaks during the match,” Melling said. “I made a couple of mistakes too but I feel like I capitalized on most of my chances.”

Melling used a pair of dry breaks and a couple of unforced errors by Szewczyk to build an early 8-3 lead in the race-to-13 match. Szewczyk cut the lead to 8-6 after a missed 8-ball and dry break from Melling but then failed to pocket any balls on his breaks in the 15th and 17th games. Melling won both racks and mixed in another break-and-run to take a commanding 11-6 lead.

Szewczyk wasn’t finished, cutting the lead to 11-8 and at the table again after a dry break by Melling. He appeared positioned to cut the deficit to two but left the 7-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws in the 20th game. Melling closed out the game to get on the hill then broke-and-ran to finish off the set.

“He played well. I played well. I don’t think either of us deserved to lose. It was just one of those matches,” Melling said.

Both players struggled throughout the match with their break shots, accumulating nine total dry breaks in all – with Szewczyk accounting for six of those.

Szewczyk had been undefeated entering Thursday’s quarterfinals, posting victories against Mario Toader, Ralf Souquet, Ciprian Gindac, and Albin Ouschan.



The Quarterfinals


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Melling and Kaci Also Make the Semifinals

Chris Melling has long been considered one of the premiere 8-ball players in the game of pocket billiards.

Twice he’s been crowned world English 8-ball champion and this year he finished second at the ICEA Chinese Pool World Championship. His unorthodox runout last year in the World Pool Series’ RYO Rack Classic that included a carom, a masse, and a three-rail bank shot has been viewed by millions on social media.

The Englishman once again showed off his proficiency at the discipline Wednesday evening at the 8-Ball Classic Championship, easily defeating Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands 13-4 to advance to the quarterfinals at IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.

Melling will face Wojciech Szewczyk in Thursday’s first quarterfinal, scheduled for noon local time. Szewczyk and Albin Ouschan played each other even through most of their round-of-16 match until Szewczyk won seven of the final nine racks to pull away and win, 13-9.

Albania’s Eklent Kaci also earned a spot in the quarterfinals by dominating the second half of a match, defeating Mario He, 13-8. Kaci jumped out to an early 4-1 lead but He battled back. Halfway through the match, the score was tied at seven until Kaci used a couple of breaks-and-runs as well as a few dry breaks and unforced errors by He to win six of the final seven games.

Kaci will play in the quarterfinal scheduled for 6 p.m. local time against Daniel Maciol, who needed a late rally to defeat Darren Appleton, 13-11. Appleton controlled the first half of the match, jumping out to a 10-5 lead in the race-to-13 format. He appeared positioned to increase the lead to 11-6 but left a ball hanging in the corner pocket’s jaws. That was the opening that Maciol needed, winning eight of the next nine to snatch the victory.

Other quarterfinal matches include Ioan Ladanyi versus Fedor Gorst at 3 p.m. local time and Thorsten Hohmann looking to avenge an earlier loss against Jayson Shaw at 9 p.m.

Ladanyi, the lone Romanian still alive in the tournament, took advantage of countless unforced errors from Ruslan Chinahov and cruised to a 13-6 victory in their round of 16 matchup. Meanwhile, Gorst had his hands full with Petri Makkonen of Finland, ultimately gutting out a 13-10 victory.

After suffering a lopsided 11-6 defeat at the hands of Shaw on the winner’s side earlier in the day, Hohmann bested Mieszko Fortunski, 11-8, and easily handled Alex Kazakis, 13-5 to advance to the final eight. Shaw reached the quarterfinals with an equally convincing 13-5 victory over Ciprian Gindac.

The 47-player double-elimination event was re-seeded and switched to a single-elimination format when the tournament was reduced to 16 remaining competitors. The action will conclude on Friday afternoon, with two semifinal matches followed by the race-to-17 finals later in the day.


The Last 16


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Final 16 of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Class Championship Set

After an afternoon of tough competition, the final 16 of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship is officially set.

The remaining competitors were re-drawn after three rounds of play earlier today. All eight matches will be played this evening and divided into two sets – with four taking place at 6:30 p.m. local time and the remaining contests beginning at 9:30 p.m. The early matches include Marc Bijsterbosch taking on Chris Melling, Wojciech Szewczyk facing Albin Ouschan, Ruslan Chinahov playing Ioan Ladanyi and Fedor Gorst squaring off against Petri Makkonen. The evening matches will feature Mario He going against Eklent Kaci, Darren Appleton facing Daniel Maciol, Alex Kazakis playing Thorsten Hohmann and Jayson Shaw competing against Ciprian Gindac.

Shaw earned a berth in the final 16 with a solid performance against Hohmann. The reigning U.S. Open 9-ball champion used two dry breaks from his opponent and three breaks-and-runs to jump out to an early 7-3 lead. Hohmann cut the lead to 8-4 and had an opportunity to narrow the deficit even more in the 13th game but left the 7-ball in the jaws of the corner pocket.

Shaw, who stated after the match that he’s been working on his 8-ball game in recent weeks to prepare for the event, cleared the table and then win two of the next four games to claim the match

“The last month, I sort of got into a routine. I had fallen out of it,” Shaw said.

Hohmann rebounded with an 11-8 victory against Mieszko Fortunski to reach the final 16.

Notable names who have been eliminated from the tournament include June’s Rasson 10-Ball Championship winner Joshua Filler, World Pool Masters champion Niels Feijen, Denis Grabe, and Ralf Souquet.

After easily winning his lone match on Tuesday against Stanimir Ruslanov, 11-3, Filler suffered his first loss of the tournament to Appleton, 11-6.

“I broke pretty good and I didn’t make any mistakes and that’s the key against him,” said Appleton, adding that he considered himself a big underdog in the match.

The young German didn’t fare much better in his next game against Makkonen, who used a couple of unforced errors to jump out to a 4-2 lead. Makkonen then used a combination of three breaks-and-runs as well as a dry break from Filler to surge ahead 7-2, ultimately winning the contest 11-3.

After receiving a first-round bye Feijen suffered a rare two-and-out, falling to Marek Kudlik of Poland, 11-9, then losing to Wiktor Zielinski in a sudden death shootout.

Grabe, won who April’s Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship, lost his first match of the tournament to Toni Judet, 11-5, then was defeated by Maciol, 11-9, in the third round on the one-loss side.

Souquet, who lost his first-round match yesterday to Szewczyk, 11-8, was defeated by Makkonen, 11-9.



The Early Rounds


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Melling and Kazakis Win Their First Matches

The contingent of competitors from Poland and Romania playing in this week’s World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship made their presence known with some early upsets on the opening day of the tournament.

Competing in the first round on the winner’s side, Daniel Maciol sent two-time WPS champion Eklent Kaci over to the one-loss side with an 11-6 victory and Wojciech Szewczyk handed Germany’s Ralf Souquet an 11-8 defeat.

Meanwhile, a couple of higher-seeded players narrowly avoided early round losses, with England’s Chris Melling needing a sudden death shootout to defeat Konrad Juszczyszyn and Alex Kazakis mounting a last-minute rally to squeak by Wiktor Zielinski, 11-9.

Melling and Juszczyszyn battled back and forth throughout the set, with neither player holding more than a one-game lead. Juszczyszyn edged ahead 10-9 in the race-to-11 match and appeared to be in a position to win when Melling missed a difficult cut shot on the 8-ball in the 20th game – leaving the ball hanging in the side pocket’s jaws. However, Juszczyszyn missed his second shot of the rack and Melling softly tapped in the game-winning ball in to force an overtime session he would ultimately win.

A couple of hours later Kazakis, a man who is quite familiar with needing some luck and opportunities to gut matches at the WPS, jumped out an early 5-3 lead against Zielinski. After the Greek missed a 5-ball in the ninth game and also left an 8-ball in the side pocket’s jaws, Zielinski rattled off six straight victories to take a commanding 9-5 lead.

“I started really good but suddenly I made two mistakes and it got in my head and that cost me six games,” Kazakis said in an interview after the match.

Kazakis was able to rally, using three breaks and runs as well as a pair of unforced errors by his opponent to rattle off five straight racks and snatch the victory.

With the tournament moving to Bucharest’s IDM Club this week’s event has a strong Romanian presence – with 10 native players participating in the 47-player competition. The Romanians have taken advantage of the home table advantage early, with Toni Judet scoring an early victory over former WPS champion Denis Grabe, 11-5, and Ciprian Gindac using the overtime sudden death shootout to send Petri Makkonen over to the one-loss side.

The second day of action begins Wednesday at noon local time with eight matches on the winner’s side and eight on the one-loss side. Featured on the live streaming table will be Jayson Shaw taking on Thorsten Hohmann. Other notable matches on the winner’s side include Melling facing Fedor Gorst, Ruslan Chinahov paired up against Imran Majid and Germany’s Joshua Filler taking on England’s Darren Appleton.


The Players Arrive


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First European WPS Has Started!

After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, the World Pool Series gets underway today, with the some of the world’s most accomplished pool players competing in the 8-Ball Classic Championship at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.

Competition opens with seven first-round matches beginning at noon and eight additional contests starting at 2:30 pm and the action continues into the evening with 16 more contests. Five matches will be streamed for free via Facebook live throughout the day.

Seventeen of the 47 players entered have received first-round byes, including Joshua Filler – the winner of June’s Rasson 10-Ball Players Championship. Playing at New York’s Steinway Billiards, the young German overcame a first-round loss to Shane Van Boening and won eight consecutive matches, besting Alex Kazakis 17-10 in the championship match.

Also receiving a bye is Elkent Kaci, a young man who is no stranger to the WPS 8-ball Championships. The Albanian took home two titles last year, earning top honors in the Aramith Masters and also taking home the season-ending Predator Grand Finale in November. Kaci also placed third in last summer’s RYO Classic Championship and was a runner-up in October’s U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships.


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Two additional past WPS champions have also made their way to Romania: Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov and Estonia’s Denis Grabe.

Playing in the inaugural WPS event – the Molinari Players Championship – Chinahov posted an undefeated 7-0 record, using a strong break and flawless pattern play to soundly defeat Lee Vann Corteza 16-6 in the finals of the 119-player event.

After suffering a loss in his second match of April’s Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship, Grabe won six consecutive matches to earn his first WPS title. He capped off the tournament by using solid safety play to frustrate and easily defeat Kazakis, 17-7.

Kazakis has also received an early bye as he continues to try and claim his first WPS title. The young Greek has used clutch shot making and some good luck to reach the finals in this year’s Aramith 9-Ball and Rasson 10-Ball Championships but has come up short in the title match. Kazakis also placed in the top five at last year’s 8-ball formatted Predator Grand Finale.

Also entering today’s event with early byes are 2017 Mosconi Cup team members Jayson Shaw and Ralf Souquet as well as World Pool Masters champion Niels Feijen.

The first game to be streamed today will be between Arjan Matrizi and Nick Malaj to be followed by the match between Thomas Pöschl and Albin Ouschan.

The 8-Ball Classic Championship is the third event of the four-tournament 2018 World Pool Series. This event will be held at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania from August 7th to 10th 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Rasson, Aramith, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Outsville, and the WPA.

For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.


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