With his big break and smooth stroke, American ShaneVan Boening is one of the most decorated players in the United States when it comes to 10-ball, having won the U.S. Open 10-Ball Championship three consecutive times as well as other titles in the discipline, such as the Derby City Classic Big Foot 10-Ball event and the Super Billiards Expo Players Championship.
Despite his experience and accolades, the South Dakotan struggled to find his footing during his second-round match on the winner’s side of last night’s the Alfa Las Vegas Open Thursday night, as Chinese Taipei’s Jung-Lin Chang won in straight sets at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The American now moves to the one-loss side of the bracket where he will attempt a comeback against Jun Kwon Ho at 9 a.m. local time.
After the competitors split the first two games, Van Boening crawled out to a 2-1 lead and had the opportunity to increase his advantage in the fourth game but missed a makeable 9 ball in the corner pocket. Chang tied the match, took advantage of another missed shot by his opponent to climb onto the hill then used a victorious safety exchange to close out the set, 4-2.
Chang maintained control in the second frame, winning the first three games until he lost control of the table in a safety exchange after the break. Van Boening tacked on back-to-back racks to cut the deficit to 3-2 but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the sixth game, allowing Chang to tie the match and then close out the set with a break-and-run.
The evening concluded with a one-loss side match between Americans Tyler Styer and Shane Wolford, a match that could easily be considered pool’s current guard in the United States versus the country’s future. Styer has a Kremlin Cup championship and four trips to the Mosconi Cup on his resume while Wolford is considered one of the rising young stars in the game, having won a handful of regional events and placing 17th at last year’s Alfa Open.
After splitting the first two games, Styer took an early lead when his opponent misplayed a ball but quickly gave back the advantage when he misplayed the game-winning 10 ball. Despite the unforced error, Styer used a pair of safeties to close out the opening set, 4-2.Wolford drew first blood in the second frame, building an early 2-0 advantage but forfeited the table when he committed a foul in the third rack. Styer took advantage, clearing the table to get on the scoreboard then using a carom shot on the 10 ball to tie the score.
Wolford used a combination shot of his own to regain the lead in the fifth game and appeared to be in position to snag the second set but missed a bank shot on the 7 ball. Styer methodically cleared the table to tie the match then executed a picture-perfect break in the set-deciding game, easily clearing the table to close out the match in straight sets and eliminate his opponent, 4-2, 4-3.
In other matches of note, Greece’s Alex Kazakis defeated Duong Quoc Hoang in a shootout to remain undefeated while American Skyler Woodward suffered his second consecutive defeat, losing to Lian Han Toh in straight sets. Russia’s Fedor Gorst remained perfect with a straight sets win over American Chris Reinhold while Filipino Roland Garcia needed a shootout to defeat fellow countryman Lee Vann Corteza.
Friday’s is expected to be intense, with the remaining players on the one-loss side jockeying for the 32-spots available in the event’s final 64, which will begin Friday night and switch from a two-set format to three. Additionally, the women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open will commence with 32 matches throughout the day.
Matches can be watched on Billiard.TV and on World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International. A schedule of televised matches will be posted daily on the Pro Billiard Series and CSI Facebook and Instagram pages.
The Predator Pro Billiard Series is a series of open, professional events held around the world to provide more opportunities for professional and aspiring pool players to compete in high-quality events, earn more income, sharpen their skills, and earn their way into the Predator World 10-Ball Championship held in Las Vegas each year as part of the CueSports International Expo.
The Predator U.S. Pro Billiard Series by CSI feature six open professional events during the calendar year. Created by league operator CueSports International together with the Predator Group, these tournaments will run in tandem alongside of CSI league events being held throughout the country. The winner of each competition receives a guaranteed spot in the following year Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held during the annual CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.
These events are played on Predator Apex Pro tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI Leagues, CSI Events and CSI Media. CSI Leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI Events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI Media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com.
Predator’s mission is to inspire billiard fans by providing innovative experiences and products that deliver high-performance, with unsurpassed class and style. Predator, Poison and Uni-Loc are Predator Group brands that focus on performance pool tables, cues, billiard accessories, and precision components. For more information regarding Predator Group’s products, visit www.predatorcues.com, www.poisoncues.com and www.uni-loc.com.