Turning Stone Classic Continues

Friday, February 20, 2009

The second day of the Turning Stone Classic XII is well underway, with another round in each bracket completed. The four-day event is hosted by the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY, and boasts a $25,000-added prize fund.

Women’s pro Allison Fisher, ranked sixth on the WPBA, bested Tony “The Sniper” Crosby in the second round of the winners’ bracket matches, sending him west to face off against Steve Moore, who lost his first match to Jack Smith but defeated Dave Ascolese 9-1 in his second. Fisher’s next match will be against reigning world 9-ball champion Daryl Peach.

Sarah Rousey, also still in the winners’ bracket, survived a hill-hill bout against Randy Labonte in the second round and will face off against Matt Tetreault. In the late-night round Thursday evening, Karen Corr advanced over David Wetmore 9-0 and will next play Liz Ford, who came through a hill-hill match against Caroline Pao.

The strong European contingent also continues to thrive in the winners’ side. Player of the Year Mika Immonen bested Adam Radomski 9-2, while Thorsten Hohmann squeaked past Josh Ulrich 9-8. England’s Darren Appleton and Peach also won their matches over Tamiko Kumatori 9-2 and Holden Chin 9-4, respectively.

Up-and-comer Oscar Dominguez out of Los Angeles made it through round two unscathed, defeating Earl Herring 9-4. Shawn Putnam bested Greg Priest 9-6, Dave Grau sent Dave Fernandez west 9-8, and George “Ginky” San Souci dealt Jonathan Smith a 9-0 donut.

Thorsten Hohmann is XTM Asia 10-Ball Champion: Kawahara Wins Ladies Division

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seoul, Korea- The 5th Annual XTM Asia 10-Ball Championships has concluded with a new champion in the men's and women's division. Thorsten Hohmann of Germany has joined past champions of the event as the 5th different country to win it including 2004 Heoun Ho Kim (Charlie Williams) (KOR), 2005 Mika Immonen (FIN), 2006 Hisashi Kusano (JPN), 2007 Joven Bustamente (PHI). Chihiro Kawahara of Japan has become the 3rd Japanese woman to win joining 2004 Miyuki Sakai (JPN), 2005 Ohtani (JPN), 2006 Sung Hyun Jung (KOR), 2007 Hsiang Ling Tan (TPE).

The day started off with the first women's semi-finals with Korea's #1 seed and amateur champion Gui Young Lee against Japan's Kaori Ebe, the only player in japan sponsored by Sony Entertainment. Lee jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Ebe missed an easy 9-ball. The match was close, but Lee kept a comfortable 2 game lead the entire match to win 7-5 and put Korea into the finals of the event for the 5th consecutive year in a row.

The men's semi finals would put unknown Korean amateur Hwang Yhong against perhaps the hottest, most famous player in the world currently in Mika Immonen. Yhong facing his first career TV match seemed out of sorts and Immonen punished every mistake and missed shot. Immonen would win 8-1 leaving Yhong in an impressive 3rd place finish in his first pro event.

"It's going to take alot for Yhong to be able to come with a win against Mika. The pressure of TV for the first time and against the tour's hottest hand right now is going to be tremendous." predicted Charlie Williams before the match.

Women's semi #2 featured a re-match with Japanese roomies Junko Mitsuoka and Chihiro Kawahara. Mitsuoka defeated Kawahara earlier in the event 7-5, but this time the tide was completely turned as Kawahara dominated her friend 7-2 with little resistance.

Next came the second men's semi finals with Heoun Ho Kim (KOR Charlie Williams) versus Thorsten Hohmann. Hohmann started with a two game lead and then Kim bounced back with a break and run to make it 2-1. Hohmann missed an easy 3-Ball the 4th game and lucked it in and then ran out and then broke and ran the next to lead 4-1. The rolls seemed to get better for Hohmann and worse for Kim as Hohmann took advantage of each opportunity to steam roll to a 8-2 win. Kim would tie for 3rd place along with fellow Korean Yhong while Hohmann and Immonen would make an all European finals.

The women's finals was a two hour marathon, even with a 30 second shot clock. The very small pockets and tense nerves were huge factors on both players. Kawahara led the entire match by a two game margin and reached the hill first at 6-4. Lee showed tremendous heart and made two back to back amazing outs to tie the match at 6-6 to the Korean audience's delight and cheers. Kawahara looking nervous and feeling the pressure of losing the lead, made a tremendous effort on her final break. As the balls scattered around , somehow the 10-ball was kicked upward towards the side pocket and then kissed in by another ball as Kawahara shrieked out a triumphant and pleading yelp! Lee then got up and smiled to congratulate the new Asia 10-Ball Champion.

The men's finals was significantly shorter. Immonen seemed unstoppable the past month winning the US Open and IPT Challenge, and now entering his third finals in four weeks. Hohmann had been lackluster and titleless in 9-ball and 10-ball the past two years. Hohmann did have the advantage though record wise over Immonen with four wins and 1 loss, but Immonen having the win the last time they played 9-ball at the Florida Pro Tour Championships. Immonen looked confident on the tight equipment but even so missed several routine shots including a very easy 10-ball in game 3 while Hohmann looked sharp and hungry. Hohmann adding insult to injury also was the beneficiary of the rolls the entire match, continuing from his earlier match with Kim.

"I can't get one roll." muttered a dejected Immonen towards the middle of the match as he was trailing.

Hohmann taking advantage of every missed shot by Immonen and several key rolls, quickly thrusted himself into a 7-1 lead. Immonen had an easy out the 9th game and got perfectly straight in on a 18 inch shot on the 8-ball and missed it. That told the tale of the match as Hohmann ran down to the final 10-ball laying near deliciously perfect for the win. Hohmann despite having the win in hand, seemed cautious and asked the referee to remove a particle off the cueball. After which he re-composed himself and made the 10-ball for the win, raising his cue and hands in the air out of more a sigh of relief it seemed to get a monkey off his back.

"I don't care how I did it, I'm just glad I won!" said Hohmann minutes after the match to a few chuckles of his friends.

"A funny story is that these boots I'm wearing now,..well the last time I wore these was the European 9-Ball Championships that I won two years ago. Then someone broke the heel and I couldn't wear them anymore. I have not won a title in a rotation game since then. I got them fixed and here is the first tournament I wore them, and then I win!" explained The Hitman on the secret to his success. "I've always done poorly in Korea and not so well in Asia in general. So winning this is significant for me as it's my first win in Asia."

Hohmann will get to celebrate his $10,000 1st place while Immonen will have to console himself with $4000 that he will add onto a total of $52,000 in winnings in less than 30 days. Kawahara goes home with $3500 and her first major international title.

The XTM Asia 10-Ball Championships is produced by Dragon Promotions and played on Min Tables Professional Edition with Simonis Cloth and Aramith Balls. Official Cue is Poison Cues www.poisonbilliards.co.kr and Predator Cues www.predatorcues.co.kr . The event was also sponsored by Tony Moley Cosmetics and professional make-up and hair provided by Ra Beauty Salons. The final six matches will air on XTM and XPORTS.

Top Seeds Immonen, Morris, Williams, Hohmann Advance in Asia 10-Ball Championships

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seoul, Korea-  Day 1 of the 5th Annual Asia 10-Ball Championships is concluded with relatively few upsets. #1 seed Mika Immonen (FIN) had an easy day with a bye and then a 9-0 win over Korea's Sung Ho Seo. Thorsten Hohmann had almost as easy task with wins over Won Jae Lee (KOR) 9-2 and Au Siu Wai 9-4 (HK). Rodney Morris struggled after his first round bye against an unknown Korean amateur player 9-7 as well as Heoun Ho Kim (KOR Charlie Williams) who barley defeated Korean amateur champions Moon Suk Jang 9-7 and Su Bok Park 9-8.

"I love tight tables. You have to be able to really play well to defeat the better player." commented Immonen on the pocket toughness.

"When me and Mika arrived, I told Mika I must be really tired cause the tables from even a distance looked super tight." said Rodney Morris.

This year's event has drawn the largest contingent of amateur players for a pro event in Korea with 20 top amateur players vying in both men and women's divisions. The amateurs were well represented by the biggest upset of the day coming from Korea's Yhong Hwang's 9-6 victory over #5 seed Hayato Hijikata (JPN), who is ranked in the top 5 in Japan and a former World Junior 10-Ball Champion. Australia's Todd Hayward also fell in both of his matches to Korean amateurs. The Filipino contingent of Renemar David, Jech Limen, and #6 seed Rodrigo Geronimo all easily advanced to Day 2 unscathed. The Hong Kong contingent of four players had a rough day with defeats by the Koreans save for #7 seed Lee Chenman who had an easy two wins including a 9-0 shutout to advance.

In the women's division, #1 seed Gui Young Lee defeated Ha Na (KOR) 7-4 and #4 seed Kaori Ebe (JPN) 7-4. #5 seed Junko Mitsuoka (JPN) upsetted #2 seed Neslihan Gurel (TUR) 7-6 with both players missing the 10-ball twice in the final exciting game.

"In Korea the tables we used traditionally would be considered very forgiving. We promised the international players that in the future as the Korean players get better, we would make conditions tougher and more favorable to the better players. In the past four years, the Koreans have made dramatic improvements to their skill levels as we have grown the sport and brought the best players of the world here.  So living up to our word, I doubt anyone can argue that the tables are loose now." said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.

The XTM Asia 10-Ball Championships is produced by Dragon Promotions and played on Min Tables with Simonis Cloth and Aramith Balls. Official Cue is Poison Cues and Predator Cues. Final day will have six matches airing on XTM and XPORTS.

Eight Billiard Players Return for U.S. Open including

Friday, October 24, 2008

Only eight players are still alive at the 33rd Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, held this week in Chesapeake, VA.

Friday’s elimination rounds began with Lee Van Corteza sending 22-year-old Oscar Dominguez home 11-6, while fellow countryman Warren Kiamco ousted Tony Chohan 11-3. Also, Donnie Mills continued his winning ways, eliminating Canada’s Tyler Edey 11-8, with Corey “Cash Money” Deuel defeating Larry Nevel 11-7.

The 1 p.m. round featured winners’-bracket matches. Reigning 9-ball champion Daryl Peach went up against Johnny Archer in one of the event’s lengthiest matches, 4 hours and 40 minutes. It was close throughout, going to 9-all. Peach almost scratched on the break, but Archer cleared that table to take the hill. Archer jumped the cue ball off the table on his next break, but Peach hooked himself on the 4 ball and was forced to jump, almost making the 9. With only five balls left on the table, Archer cleared the table easily for the 11-9 win.

Rodney Morris had a tight match against Thorsten Hohmann. The score went all the way to 10-9 in Morris’ favor when he scratched on the break and screamed. Hohmann cleared to make it hill-hill and then engaged Morris in a lengthy safety battle on the 1 ball. Finally Hohmann left Morris a shot, and Morris jacked up and fired in the 1 ball to clear the remainder of the balls for the 11-10 win.

Mika Immonen grabbed an early lead in his match against Jose Parica and never relinquished it, winning 11-8. In the last winners’-side match, Francisco Bustamante never seemed to show up in his match against Ronnie Alcano. At one point he was down 9-4 but managed to take two racks before Alcano won their match 11-6.

In the 3 p.m. elimination rounds, Corey Deuel demonstrated serious prowess over Francisco Bustamante. Though Bustamante had few errors, they were important ones, while Deuel didn’t always make his position but made some excellent shots to win 11-7.

Hohmann finally ended Donnie Mills’ run at the title after defeating him 11-9, while Corteza sent fellow Filipino Parica home 11-5. Additionally, Kiamco dealt Peach an 11-3 defeat in their elimination match.

In the evening rounds, winners’-bracket matches will be Johnny Archer versus Mika Immonen, and Rodney Morris versus Ronnie Alcano. In the one-loss side, Thorsten Hohmann will play Corey Deuel, while Warren Kiamco plays Lee Van Corteza.

ACKDO Supports QC Vs The World Grand Billiards Showdown

Friday, September 19, 2008

The QC-Philippines vs the World Grand Billiards Showdown received another boost with the Association of Clubs, Karaoke and Disco Operators (ACKDO) throwing its all-out support to the much-anticipated event slated December 2 to 4 at the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City .

With promoting Quezon City as the country’s sports tourism capital, ACKDO did not think twice in backing the project when approached by its chief proponent, City Council Majority Floor Leader Ariel Inton.

“We are very happy to be part of this big event. Entertainment is one of the premier tourist attractions here in Quezon City, so we in the industry are giving our all-out support to this project, which in more than one way will also benefit us,” said ACKDO secretary-general Amil Yap.

ACKDO has been supporting a number of sports events, including the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP)'s Search for the New Billiards Idol series.

Also known as the “City of Stars ”, Quezon City boasts of having the biggest and liveliest entertainment spots in the country.

Already home to major television broadcasting networks, including giants ABS-CBN and GMA-7, Quezon City also houses dozens of restaurants, bars, night clubs, massage parlors, KTVs and the likes.

Pool icon Efren “Bata” Reyes banners the eight-man Team Q.C.-Philippines, which will pit prowess against a selection of topnotch cue artists from other countries in this three-day competition supported by the Quezon City Government led by Mayor Sonny Belmonte, QC Tourism Council headed by chairman Raffy Chico, and BMPAP with Solar Sports, RPN and the Philippine Star as media partners.

Besides Reyes, the other members of the Team QC Philippines are fellow former world champions Alex Pagulayan and Ronnie Alcano, reigning world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez, Lee Van Corteza and Warren Kiamco.

They will go up against a foreign team also led by three former world titlists in Chia-Ching Wu of Chinese-Taipei, Mika Immonen of Finland and Thorsten Hohmann of Germany. The other players of Team World are 2006 Asian Games gold medalist Satoshi Kawabata of Japan , Ching-Shun Yang of Chinese-Taipei, and Charlie William and Rodney Morris of the United States and another top European player.

They will compete for the $40,000 winner purse.

Hohmann at Accu-Stats 14.1 Invitational

Monday, September 8, 2008

thorsten_hohmann_22The double-round-robin event, broadcast live via Internet pay-per-view, wraps up on Sunday with four hourly matches starting at 3 p.m., EST. Thorsten Hohmann of Germany holds an almost insurmountable lead on the field, so far undefeated at 6-0.

The event’s unique format pits five players — Schmidt, Archer, Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet and Jose Parica — in race-to-60 straight-pool sets. However, winners are allowed to continue their runs in hopes of scoring bonuses and player-spotlight videos produced by event host Accu-Stats Video Productions.

Schmidt lost his first several matches of the event, which began on Thursday, Sept. 4, at Comet Billiards in Parsippany, N.J. But he kept practicing on side tables and finally broke out against Archer on Saturday. He ran 60-and-out and then continued his run in a rhythm that commentator Danny Diliberto compared to free-stroking “Machine Gun” Lou Butera. At 169, he understroked a key ball, ending his streak.

Parica, holding a 4-2 record, is the only player with a shot at matching Hohmann, in which case there will be a 9 p.m. playoff.

Hohmann Rules Accu-Stats 14.1 Straight Pool Invitational

Comet Billiards, Home of the Accu-Stats Arena, Parsippany, N.J.. It's Official. Not even Hurricane Hannah could contain Thorsten Hohmann as he cruised, unscathed, through a minefield chock-full of straight pool powerhouses.

Johnny Archer, Jose Parica, John Schmidt, and Ralf Souquet all felt the frustration as Hohmann hosted a clinic. Accu-Stats' commentators Incardona and DiLiberto were so impressed by Thorsten's performance that they considered him to be the best player they'd ever seen. Never, in recent memory, has there been a round robin event where a player went undefeated. Even Efren, in the 2001 Accu-Stats 8-Ball Invitational, had to compete in a play-off to secure his win.

The Accu-Stats Video Production, Double Round Robin, event, also broadcast over the internet, allowed each competitor to play each other twice with both matches immortalized on DVD. All century plus runs are given a “Player Review” where the aspirant narrates his own DVD.

John "Mr. 400" Schmiidt had highest run honors as he blasted a lightening fast 169. Off to a slow start, and zero for 5 in his opening matches, John redeemed himself by winning his last 3 over Souquet, Archer, and Parica.

Ralf, too, was on shaky ground. He had 3 wins; one over Schmidt and two over Archer.

Johnny garnered wins over Schmidt and a 60-and-out over Parica where he continued to complete a high run of 99.

Parica, with 4 and 4, secured $2,000 in prize money by defeating Archer, Schmidt, and Souquet, twice,

Players earned $500 for each win with a possible $1,000 in bonus money per match.  Once a player hit 60, he could continue pocketing balls in the hope of running to 100 and win an additional $500 or, $1,000 for 150.

Hohmann grossed $5,000 for his 8 wins and his century plus runs of 112 and 149. One more point on the 149 and he would have made an extra $500. Johnny felt the sting too. His 99 was so close yet, so far.

Accu-Stats' Pat Fleming would like to thank Bill Hailey and his crew at Comet Billiards for their superior service, and all who attended the inaugural event there. That means you net surfers too.

In the interest of keeping the production values at peak performance, Pat asked the players for suggestions on how to improve the event. The consensus was, "Don't change a thing."

Final results:

1. Thorsten Hohmann 8-0
2. Jose Parica 4-4
3. John Schmidt 3-5
4. Ralf Souquet 3-5
5. Johnny Archer 2-6

High Runs:
1. John Schmidt 169 _ $1,000
2. Thorsten Hohmann 149 _ $500
3. Thorsten Hohmann 112 _ $500