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 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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