CHANG, VAN BOENING AMONG WINNERS AS PREDATOR WORLD 8-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS IN PUERTO RICO
Defending champion Chang Jung-Lin made it through the first round of the Predator World 8-Ball Championship with an 8-6 success over Dutchman Tim de Ruyter on the opening day of play at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan.
There were wins for Americans Shane van Boening and Tyler Styer, Germany’s Joshua Filler and Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw on the TV tables, with the former defeating Puerto Rico’s Alan Rolon.
The eventual winner will collect $60,000 of the $250,000 total prize fund from the event, which is part of the first annual Caribbean CueSports International Expo.
Rolon’s home crowd came out in force to support their local favorite, putting Van Boening in the rare spot of being the player less favored by those spectating. The Puerto Rican, who reached the knockout stages of the Medallla Light Puerto Rico Open during the week, took down the first rack and despite conceding the second, moved ahead again at 2-1 to a loud roar inside the arena.
But Van Boening’s quality ultimately showed. Rolon foulded by moving the 5 ball as he bridged over it and the American was able to level. A great break opened up the fifth rack for Van Boening, and before Rolon knew it he was 6-2 down in the race to eight.
A dry break afforded Rolon an opportunity to claw back the deficit. He found trouble with four balls left but made the 12 with position on the 15 to bring the match to 6-3. However, his next break shot was his final visit as he came up dry, turning the table to Van Boening.
The five-time US Open champion had a straight shot on the 14 which set him up for the rack. Breaking at 7-3 ahead, Van Boening had the 12 down but opted to shoot the 2 owing to the layout of the table. A runout followed for the South Dakota Kid, who returns on Sunday to face Johnny Salas.
While Van Boening was winning on Table 1, on Table 2 a battle was heating up between two member’s of USA’s World Teams Championship roster from September.
Joey Tate and Tyler Styer are close friends off the table and with neither player able to build a substantial lead throughout the match it was Styer who arrived first on the hill before just a second dry break of the match by Styer allowed Tate to the table. The 17-year-old, who is also competing in Under-19 division of the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships this week, played the 15 brilliantly to bring the 10 away from the side rail and from there had no problems in reaching the hill.
A dry break came at the worst possible time for Tate but when Styer missed a 4 he’d usually expect to make, the younger of the two Americans was back at the table. However, he missed the 9 to the middle pocket with three balls and the 8 remaining.
Styer showed he was feeling the pressure when the cue clipped the 10 as he looked for position on the 4. He played the shot well but again the cue kicked another ball, this time the 11, as it came through for position on the 7. The former Kremlin Cup winner held his nerve, though, and made a testy shot up table to come back and make the match-winning 8.
“I’d rather play Shane or Jayson, anybody else but Joey,” said Styer. “I have helped him out a lot and taken him under my wing, so to draw him in the first round sucked. I believe in him but I have to forget about that when I play him because he is like a little brother to me.”
Later in the day, Tate advanced to the quarter-finals of the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championship. Playing in the Under-19 division, he defeated Germany’s Dennis Laszkowski 9-5 to progress from the winners’ side. His sister Bethany is through to the last eight of the Girls division, along with Savannah Easton, Lena Primus and Alara Ghaffari. The other Under-19 quarter-finalists are Keane Derek Rota, Szymon Kural and Yannick Pongers.
Riku Romppanen, Mika van Berkel, Felix Vogel and Lazar Kostic made it four Europeans in the last eight of the Under 17s. The losers’ qualification matches of all three divisions take place on Sunday, followed by the quarter-finals. All matches are broadcast live on Kozoom.com and all three Junior finals will be on World Billiard TV YouTube Channel and watchbilliard.tv on Monday.
Predator World 8-Ball Championship reigning champion Chang Jung-Lin has waited ten years to defend his title and was given a tough examination by Tim de Ruyter before eventually winning 8-6. There was a hill-hill win for Jayson Shaw against Dimitris Loukatos while former World 8-Ball Champion Ralf Souquet will face Konrad Juszczyszyn on Sunday after beating Juan Carlos Exposito of Spain in his opening match.
Matches from the Predator World 8-Ball Championship are streamed from Table 1 on Billiard TV, the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com. Table 2 has full coverage and commentary on the Predator Pro Billiard Series Facebook Page. All tables, including matches from the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships, can be watch live for FREE at Kozoom.com
Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com