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Kaci Lights Up World 10-Ball Championship
 Posted on Thursday, September 09 2021 @ 10:07:49 UTCby admin
10 Ball THE PREDATOR WORLD 10-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
US Pro Billiard Series

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
3700 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas
Nevada
United States of America
www.playcsipool.com/usprobilliardseries - live stream - brackets
www.caesars.com/rio-las-vegas

Monday 6 - Friday 10 September 2021


Eklent Kaci
Photograph courtesy of ©Erwin Dionisio.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

Kaci Lights Up World 10-Ball Championship

Reporter: Keith Paradise - CSI Staff Writer
Photography: Erwin Dionisio


The only thing that could stop Albania’s Eklent Kaci on the final day of the World 10-Ball Championships was to turn off the lights.

Playing in the second semifinal match of the day, Kaci had built an early 3-1 advantage against Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp when a thunderstorm knocked out power to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino for a little over two hours. When play resumed, the 22-year-old Albanian gutted out a 10-8 victory against Yapp to earn a trip to the finals, then pulled away from Japan’s Naoyuki Oi late in the championship match to earn a 10-6 victory and win the second-annual Predator 10-Ball Championship. Kaci, who has won a handful of EuroTour events and was a runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, used a combination of tight safety play and dazzling shot-making to earn the biggest prize of his career.

Playing in the weather-delayed championship match, Kaci used two breaks and runs along with a dry break from Oi to build an early 4-1 advantage. Oi returned fire, just as he had done so many times throughout the tournament, taking advantage of a Kaci missed shot and dry break to tie the score 4-4, only to suffer a dry break of his own in the very next game. Kaci cleared the table to regain the lead and tacked on another rack to build a 6-4 advantage.



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Eklent Kaci
Photograph courtesy of ©Erwin Dionisio.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

The charismatic competitor from Japan continued to nip at Kaci’s lead, using a break-and-run to pull to within 6-5. He had an opportunity to close to within 7-6 but missed a makeable 4 ball. His opponent gave him additional oxygen when he misplayed position on the 8 ball and was forced to play a safety. Oi used a perfectly executed one-rail kick to pocket the ball, but missed an equally tough cut on the 9 ball. Kaci cleared the rack, then used a table-length bank on the 1 ball to break and runout the 14th game. Oi broke-and-ran one last time to pull to within 9-6, but Kaci gutted out one last rack after a victorious safety exchange on the 1 ball, pumping his fist a couple of times in jubilation as he prepared to pocket the tournament-winning 10-ball.

Oi, who improved on his fifth-through-eighth finish at the 2019 event, earned a trip to the finals with one of the gutsiest and most persistent matches of the tournament, battling back from a 5-1 deficit against Filipino Johann Chua to pull out a 10-9 victory. The ability to pocket balls on the break eluded him, as his first four attempts came up completely dry. Oi was able to claw out a pair of victories to cut the lead to 6-3 thanks in large part to Chua breaking dry in the seventh rack and missing a 2 ball in the following rack. He cut the lead again with a victorious safety exchange in the 10th game, a Chua foul in the subsequent rack and tied the score with – of all things – a break-and-run.

The two competitors played even down the stretch, with Oi taking the lead in the 13th game only to allow his opponent back to the table in the next game with a missed 8 ball. By now, both competitors were struggling to break racks effectively, with Chua breaking dry in the 15th and 17th games while Oi failed to pocket a ball with his opening shot in the 16h game. Standing at the table with breaking honors in the 19th and deciding game, Chua once again failed to pocket a ball on the break. With the 1 ball nestled close to the corner pocket and the cue ball blocked by the 7 ball, Oi reached for his jump cue and popped the object ball into its destination after a push out. And with that he was off and running, clearing the table and capping off his comeback.

A few minutes later, Kaci was at the same table attempting to build on his lead when the power was knocked out at the casino. Once electricity was restored and the match resumed approximately two-and-a-half hours later, Yapp quickly tied the score with a safety victory and a dry break from his opponent. The Albanian snagged two more racks to regain the lead, 5-3, and had a chance to increase his lead further but missed an 8 ball in the ninth game. Yapp cleared the table then tacked on another game to once again tie the match.

Kaci took another two-game lead thanks to a dry break from his opponent and a missed kick shot. Once more, he had a chance to push the lead to three racks but missed a 7 ball in the 13th game. Yapp retaliated, tying the score once more and running through the balls in the 15th rack with a chance to take his first lead until he misplayed position on the 6 ball and missed. The Albanian cleared the table to take an 8-7 lead, then scratched on the break in the following game to allow Yapp to tie the score for the fourth time.

Once again shooting with a chance to take the lead, Yapp missed a shot at the 1 ball in the 17th rack but left his opponent hooked behind the 8 ball. After a lengthy safety exchange, Yapp forfeited the table when he pocketed the ball in the wrong pocket. This time, Kaci made sure there weren’t any more comebacks left in Yapp’s tank. He cleared the table to take a 9-8 lead, then used a one-rail, table-length kick to pocket the 2 ball, run out the 18th game and secure the a spot in the championship match.

The World 10-Ball Championship is a proud part of the CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas. The CueSports International Expo is also home to the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships and numerous industry exhibitors. The 11-day billiard extravaganza attracts more than 6,000 pool players from around the world, consumes 150,000 square feet, and uses over 300 Diamond pool tables with the goal of always providing the greatest pool experience in the world.

This competition is played on Diamond Pro-Am pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. Kamui and Omega Billiard Supplies are also partners of the event.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch Billiard TV or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.


Finalist - Naoyuki Oi (L), Champion - Eklent Kaci
and Philippe Singer - Vice President, Predator Group (R)

Photograph courtesy of ©Erwin Dionisio.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.




DAY FOUR





Eklent Kaci
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

Final Four Set at World 10-Ball Championships

Reporter: Keith Paradise - CSI Staff Writer
Photography: Predator Group


During the day on Wednesday and the early part of Thursday, Shane Van Boening continued to flirt with disaster.

Facing Mario He Wednesday night with a spot in the final 16 on the line, the South Dakotan missed a couple of shots early, spotted He a quick 3-1 lead, then came back and defeated the Austrian, 8-6. Van Boening had a similar start in his round of 16 match against Kuwait’s Bader Al Awadhi, who took a quick 3-0 lead in the race-to-10 quarterfinals, only to watch Van Boening win 10 of 11 racks to advance to the quarterfinals.

The slow starts finally caught up with South Dakotan Thursday night in the semifinals of the Predator World 10-Ball Championships, as Johann Chua jumped out to a big lead then survived a mid-match charge before closing out the five-time United States Open 9-Ball champion, 10-6 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. Chua, who defeated Alex Pagulayan to advance to the quarterfinals, will now face Naoyuki Oi of Japan in the semifinals Friday morning.

Van Boening’s troubles started from the very beginning, pocketing three balls on his first break of the set only to miss an opening bank shot on the 2 ball. Chua would give his opponent another chance after he fouled, but Van Boening again missed, handing the table back to the Filipino. Chua had built a 6-2 lead when the South Dakotan attempted to mount a comeback, taking advantage of a scratch by his opponent to half the deficit, then breaking and running to narrow the gap to 6-4. He had a chance in the 11th rack to trim the lead to a single game but misplayed position on the 4 ball, then scratched when he kicked at the ball.

Chua tacked on back-to-back racks to increase the lead to 8-4, then added another game when Van Boening scratched on the break in the 14th game. Leading 9-5, the Filipino had an opportunity to close out the match but missed the 6 ball in the corner pocket. Van Boening cleared the table to cut the lead to 9-6, but again scratched on the break in the very next game, which Chua closed out with ball-in-hand.


Naoyuki Oi
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

Meanwhile, on the event’s main table, Oi and Carlo Biado of the Philippines were staging an epic battle.

Much like Chua’s match with Van Boening, Oi was able to capitalize on a couple of unforced errors by his opponent to build an early 5-2 lead, taking advantage of a foul in the second rack and a foul in the subsequent game. Oi, who reached the semifinals by cruising past Cristopher Tevez Ocampo, had an opportunity to increase his lead to 6-2 but missed a 4 ball in the corner pocket. After Biado tacked on a pair of games to cut the lead to 6-4, Oi added three more of his own thanks to a missed shot by his opponent and a victorious safety exchange.

Just as the Filipino was tacking on a game to narrow the deficit to 8-5, Oi was beginning to struggle with his break, failing to pocket a ball in the 14th and 16th games. Biado took full advantage, running out both racks and adding a break-and-run to tie the game at eight games each, then using a safety battle to reclaim the lead, 9-8. Oi retaliated with a victorious safety exchange of his own to even the match again, forcing match-deciding rack.

The bad news for Oi was that his opponent had breaking honors. The good news was that Biado failed to land a ball, allowing Oi to clear the table, breathe a sigh of relief and head to the semifinals.


Aloysius Yapp
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

There would be no such drama in the next quarterfinals match between reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw and Aloysius Yapp of Singapore, who took advantage of a slew of mistakes and dry breaks by his opponent and coasted to a 10-5 victory.

After splitting the first two racks, Yapp took the lead for good in the third game when Shaw failed to pocket the 2 ball in the side pocket, then won six straight games thanks in large part to two unforced errors and three dry breaks from his opponent. Trailing 8-1 with match already feeling decided, Shaw broke and ran twice and took advantage of a missed shot by Yapp to halve the lead, 8-4. The two competitors traded the next two games but Yapp, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Oscar Dominguez, was able to stop any potential rally with a break-and-run which closed out the set.

In the remaining semifinal match of the night, Albania’s Eklent Kaci spotted Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn a 2-0 advantage, then won six games and held on at the end to advance to the semifinals, 10-7.

Competition begins at 11 a.m. local time when Oi and Chua face off in the first semifinal and continues at 1 p.m. local time when Kaci meets Yapp. The winners will advance to the finals, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. local time. Admission to the event is free at the venue and live streaming is available on YouTube and Billiard TV.

The World 10-Ball Championship is a proud part of the CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas. The CueSports International Expo is also home to the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships and numerous industry exhibitors. The 11-day billiard extravaganza attracts more than 6,000 pool players from around the world, consumes 150,000 square feet, and uses over 300 Diamond pool tables with the goal of always providing the greatest pool experience in the world.

This competition is played on Diamond Pro-Am pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. Kamui and Omega Billiard Supplies are also partners of the event.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch Billiard TV or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.




DAY THREE





Maxmilian Lechner
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

Final 16 Set at Predator World 10-Ball Championship

Reporter: Keith Paradise - CSI Staff Writer
Photography: Predator Group


In professional golf tournaments, Saturday’s third round is commonly referred to as “moving day,” as competitors attempt to post a low round to move up the leaderboard and into contention for the final round’s play.

Wednesday at the Predator World 10-Ball Championship could be referred to as the same, with players on the one-loss side of the bracket attempting to continue moving their names across the flowchart horizontally in the hopes of reaching the final stages. In all, 26 matches would be played on the loser’s side of the bracket on this day as competitors jockeyed for eight available slots in Thursday’s round.

As for the players on the winner’s side, well, they’re simply trying to avoid the one-loss side completely.

By the end of the day, the 64 competitors who has started the event Monday morning at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino had been whittled down to 16, with a few big names out, a couple of unknowns in and a player or two turning back the clock for a day. The tournament now moves into the single-elimination knockout phase with a re-drawing of the brackets, as competitors from the winner’s section are matched up against players who have battled to remain in the event on the one-loss side. Additionally, races will be lengthened from a race-to-8 to a race-to-10.

Three of the final 16 competitors hail from the United States, with Billy Thorpe and Oscar Dominguez remaining undefeated as they head to the knockout stage, while Shane Van Boening battled into second phase from the one-loss side.

Thorpe, who opened the event with a victorious hill-hill thriller against Chang Jung-Lin, qualified for the final 16 with matching 8-4 victories against Ariel Casto of Argentina and Poland’s Oliver Szolnoki. Thorpe’s former Mosconi Cup teammate Dominguez defeated reigning World Pool Championship champion Albin Ouschan in his first match then survived Diamond Las Vegas Open winner Wu Kun-Lin in a hill-hill battle and took down Sullivan Clark, 8-5.

Another player who remains undefeated is Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, who capitalized on a handful unforced errors to come from behind and defeat Albania’s Eklent Kaci 8-4. Kaci used two breaks and runs to build an early 3-1 and had a chance to increase the lead in the fifth game but missed a routine 9 ball in the corner pocket. Shaw took advantage, winning seven of the next eight games thanks in large part to his opponent’s continued unforced errors – including a missed 7 ball in the seventh game and a scratch in the 11th rack.

Kaci moved to the one-loss side of the bracket where he met Maxmilian Lechner, who led the match the entire way until Kaci caught him in the 14th rack. Standing at the table with the break in the deciding game, Lechner spread the balls perfectly but also deposited the cue ball in the far corner pocket, handing Kaci ball-in-hand and the match.


Click the image to view the full size poster - use "back" to return here.

Also advancing from the winner’s side were Al Awadi and Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait, Konrad Juszczyszyn of Poland, Filipino Carlo Biado and Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan.

On the one-loss side, Van Boening took more of a scenic route into Thursday’s competition, having suffered a second-round loss to Kuwait’s Bader Al Awadi. He faced fellow American and former Mosconi Cup teammate Chris Reinhold Wednesday morning, playing in a nip-and-tuck match throughout with neither player holding more than a one-game lead. With the match all-square at 6-6, Reinhold had an opportunity to gain an advantage after his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break. However, Reinhold’s attempt at a one-rail kick shot on a 1 ball near the side pocket failed, allowing Van Boening to take a 7-6.

Reinhold, who played on last year’s Mosconi Cup squad, had an opportunity to tie the score again but failed to land a ball on the break, allowing Van Boening back to the table where he closed out the match, 8-6.

After breezing Past Roland Garcia 8-4, five-time U.S. Open champion capped off his day with a tussle with Mario He, who took advantage of a couple of uncharacteristic misses by the American and grabbed an early 3-1 advantage. The South Dakotan then used a pair of breaks and runs, a dry break from his opponent and a victorious safety battle to win four consecutive games and take a 5-3 lead. He continued to threaten, taking advantage of a Van Boening scratch on the break and another positional error to win two of three racks and stay within a game of the lead.

The Austrian had a chance to tie the match in the 12th rack but failed to convert a combination shot on the 2 and 5 balls. Van Boening ran out the rack then used a one-rail kick in of the 1 ball in the following game to close out the match.

Joining Van Boening and Kaci in the top 16 from the one-loss side of the bracket are Filipino Johann Chua, Cristopher Tevez Ocampo, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, Naoyuki Oi of Japan, Gerson Martinez Boza of Peru and Marco Teutscher of the Netherlands.

Play will resume Thursday with the match schedule to be determined. Admission is free for spectators at the venue and live streaming of the tournament is available on YouTube and Billiard TV.

The World 10-Ball Championship is a proud part of the CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas. The CueSports International Expo is also home to the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships and numerous industry exhibitors. The 11-day billiard extravaganza attracts more than 6,000 pool players from around the world, consumes 150,000 square feet, and uses over 300 Diamond pool tables with the goal of always providing the greatest pool experience in the world.

This competition is played on Diamond Pro-Am pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. Kamui and Omega Billiard Supplies are also partners of the event.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliard Series on Facebook, Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch Billiard TV or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.


Oscar Dominguez
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.




DAY TWO





Omar Al Shaheen
Photograph courtesy of ©Erwin Dionisio.
Click the image to view the full size photograph - use "back" to return here.

Surprising Al Shaheen Remains Undefeated at World 10-Ball Championships

Reporter: Keith Paradise - CSI Staff Writer
Photography:
Al Shaheen: Erwin Dionisio
Jason Shaw: Predator Group
David Alcaide: Predator Group


One of the biggest surprise stories of pool this year has been the emergence of Omar Al Shaheen.

After spending the last handful of years placing in the top five of regional American events, the young man from Kuwait offered up a breakout performance at this summer’s World Pool Championships, advancing all the way to the finals before falling to Albin Ouschan. Al Shaheen wasn’t finished, tacking on a third-place finish at the Iron City Open and earning runner-up honors at the Midwest Open 10-Ball Invitational and this past weekend’s Diamond Las Vegas Open.

And he feels this is just the beginning.

“It’s time for me to show everyone what kind of talent and skills that I have,” said Al Shaheen as he reflected on his recent string of performances Monday afternoon.

Those skills were on display Tuesday afternoon at the World 10-Ball Championship, as the 28-year-old used a fast and loose style to come from behind and hold off Spain’s David Alcaide in a second round, winner’s side match at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The Kuwaiti struggled with a couple of missed shots early in the match but finished strong, winning five straight racks to knock the former World Pool Masters champion to the one-loss side of the bracket.

Alcaide paired a break-and-run with a victorious safety exchange to take a 2-1 lead in the alternate break, race-to-eight format, only to see his opponent overtake him thanks to a break-and-run of his own combined with a dry break from the Spainard. After his opponent won three-straight to take a 5-3 lead, Al Shaheen went on a streak of his own, taking advantage of a missed 8 ball and a scratch by his opponent to tie the score, then using two breaks and runs coupled with another Alcaide scratch on the break to close out the match, 8-5.

Al Shaheen now faces Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski in a round of 16 matchup on the winner’s side Wednesday at 11 a.m. local time. Zielinski was part of a rather successful day for the contingent of Polish players who made their way to Las Vegas this week, with four of the competitors winning second round matches to remain on the winner’s side. In addition to Zielinski defeating Johann Chua, 8-4; Oliver Szolnoki survived a hill-hill match with Sanjin Pehlivanovic; Mieszko Fortunski advanced over Waleed Majid and Konrad Juszczyszyn coasted by Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, 8-4.

Fortunes were not as good for a pair of Filipinos, with James Aranas and Dennis Orcollo both going two-and-out from the tournament. Aranas, who was the runner-up at last year’s Diamond Las Vegas Open, lost 8-3 to Tyler Styer Tuesday morning. Orcollo’s road home was a bit more dramatic, battling Greece’s Alex Kazakis to a hill-hill tie before missing a tough cut shot on the 2 ball in the deciding rack. Kazakis slowly and methodically cleared the table and closed out the match, 8-7.

In other one-loss side action, Chinese Taipei’s Chaung Jung-Lin held off Venezuela’s Jesus Atencio, 8-5, in early afternoon action. The two competitors deadlocked through the first 10 racks, mixing in successful safety exchanges with an occasional runout as both players struggled to find opening shots after the break. Atencio had the break in the 11th game, but committed a foul during a safety battle on the 2 ball. Chang cleared the table then tacked on a break-and-run to take a 7-5 lead.

The Venezuelan had an opportunity to cut the deficit and extend the match but failed to secure position on the 3 ball after pocketing the 2 ball, then missed an attempted jump shot on the object ball. Chang won another safety exchange on the ball, then cleared the table to win the match.


Jayson Shaw
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
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Remaining undefeated on the winner’s side was also Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, who survived a pair of dry breaks midway through his match with Corey Deuel to defeat the American, 8-6. After the two players split the first four games, Shaw took a 6-4 lead using a kick shot and a foul by his opponent. Deuel continued to hang around, taking advantage of a dry break from Shaw and a scratch in the 13th game to twice pull within a game, but the reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player used a victorious safety exchange to close out the match.

In the final match of the night on the winner’s side, Filipino Carlo Biado capitalized on opponent Mario He failing to pocket a ball on the break three times to cruise to an 8-4 victory.

Competition resumes Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. local time, with notable matches on the winner’s side including Alex Pagulayan matching up against Thorsten Hohmann and Jayson Shaw meeting Eklent Kaci, while Shane Van Boening squares off against Chris Reinhold and Denis Grabe takes on Alcaide on the one-loss side. Admission to the event is free at the casino and live streaming of the tournament is available through YouTube and Billiard TV.

The World 10-Ball Championship is a proud part of the CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas. The CueSports International Expo is also home to the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships and numerous industry exhibitors. The 11-day billiard extravaganza attracts more than 6,000 pool players from around the world, consumes 150,000 square feet, and uses over 300 Diamond pool tables with the goal of always providing the greatest pool experience in the world.

This competition is played on Diamond Pro-Am pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. Kamui and Omega Billiard Supplies are also partners of the event.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch Billiard TV or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.


David Alcaide
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
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DAY ONE





Joshua Filler and Skyler Woodward
Photograph courtesy of ©Predator Group.
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Americans Advance on Open Day of World 10-Ball Championships

Reporter: Keith Paradise - CSI Staff Writer
Photography:
Woodward Filler: Predator Group
Styer jumping: Erwin Dionisio


Usually when a pair of pool’s most decorated young stars meet up in a major competition, the match occurs in the later stages, like during the quarter or semifinals.

Today, spectators at the Predator World 10-Ball Championship were treated to such a match in the opening round, with Joshua Filler and Skyler Woodward squaring off in the first batch of play this morning. Both have won their share of medals during the last five years, with Filler earning a World 9-Ball and U.S. Open championship, Woodward winning the 2019 Derby City Classic Master of the Table honors and two of them having three Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player awards among them.

The match would be everything pool afficionados would expect from two top quality players, as Woodward jumped out to a big lead early, then fought off a late charge to win, 8-5, Monday at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The victory was part of a rather successful day for the Americans, with Billy Thorpe, Shane Van Boening and Oscar Dominguez all winning their opening round matches to remain on the winner’s side of the double-elimination bracket.

The young man from Paducah, Kentucky was in stroke early, using a pair of breaks and runs as well as two missed shots by his opponent to build a 4-0 advantage. Woodward had the opportunity to add to his lead in the fifth rack but scratched on the break, which Filler used along with a break-and-run to cut the lead in half. After Woodward won back-to-back games to push his lead to 6-2, the young German used two missed shots from his opponent coupled with another break-and-run to slice the deficit to 6-5.

Standing at the table with the break in the 12th game, Filler had the chance to tie the score but scratched. Woodward cleared the table then tacked on a break-and-run to close out the match and advance to the round-of-32.

A few hours later, Woodward’s close friend and partner in hair styles, Billy Thorpe, was at the table taking on Chinese Taipei’s Chang Jung-Lin, winner of the 2018 International Open. Thorpe’s match would be the polar opposite his friend’s. There wouldn’t be a big lead early. In fact, he had to overcome some early missed shots with some nifty one-rail kick-in shots to remain even through the first eight games. The Ohio native would gain a two-rack lead in the late stages thanks to a break-and-run in the ninth game and a run out that was propelled by yet another kick shot in the subsequent game. Chang claimed the 11th game to slice the lead down to a single game but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the next rack, allowing Thorpe to climb onto the hill at 7-5.

Chang was down but far from out, using a table length bank shot on the 1 ball after a safety battle to clear the table and cut the lead to 7-6. He then cleared the table and tied the score in the next game after his opponent missed a kick attempt on the 2 ball. After breaking in the match-deciding 15th rack, Thorpe was faced with the 1 ball in the center of the table and the cue ball on the end rail. He calmly rolled the 1 down table into the opposite corner pocket and proceeded to run out the rack, with Chang conceding before the game-winning ball could be pocketed.

In other matches, Mika Immonen took advantage of a pair of late unforced errors to defeat Dennis Orcollo, 8-5 in a back-and-forth match which saw six lead changes through 13 games.

After Orcollo won the opening rack, Immonen took advantage of a missed shot and a dry break by his opponent to win back-to-back games. After Orcollo tacked on two games of his own to regain the lead, the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer won three straight thanks to a break-and-run and another dry break from his opponent. Orcollo again battled back to tie the score at five racks each but scratched in following game. Immonen cleared the table, broke and ran and capitalized on a missed jump shot by his opponent which left an open shot at the 1 ball to close out the match.

The day was not without its share of first-round upsets either, with Dominguez defeating reigning World 9-Ball champion Albin Ouschan, 8-6, and Thorsten Hohmann taking down reigning World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis, 8-5.


Tyler Styer
Photograph courtesy of ©Erwin Dionisio.
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Competition resumes Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. local time, with notable matches including Carlo Biado facing Jeffrey DeLuna and David Alcaide meeting Omar Al Shaheen on the winner’s side as well as Tyler Styer facing James Aranas and Orcollo taking on Kazakis on the one-loss side. Admission to the event is free at the casino and live streaming of the tournament is available through YouTube and Billiard TV.

The World 10-Ball Championship is a proud part of the CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas. The CueSports International Expo is also home to the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships and numerous industry exhibitors. The 11-day billiard extravaganza attracts more than 6,000 pool players from around the world, consumes 150,000 square feet, and uses over 300 Diamond pool tables with the goal of always providing the greatest pool experience in the world.

This competition is played on Diamond Pro-Am pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. Kamui and Omega Billiard Supplies are also partners of the event.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch Billiard TV or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.


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