Some of the most decorated players in pocket billiards have again assembled in New York for this weekend’s Rasson 10-Ball Masters Championship.
The first five rounds of tournament play began earlier this morning at Astoria’s Steinway Billiards with 18 players facing off in the opening round – including the first-ever World Pool Series appearance for Shane Van Boening. The five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball champion will be tested right out of the gate, facing young German fireballer Joshua Filler in the opening round at 12:30 p.m. on the event’s video streaming table.
Van Boening will be looking to add to his already impressive resume of 10-ball championships. The South Dakota native is the reigning U.S. Open 10-Ball champion – winning the event three times in his career – and has taken top honors at the Super Billiards Expo Players Championship five times. Van Boening also has taken home the 10-ball division of the Derby City Classic twice and was the champion of the Ultimate 10-Ball Challenge in 2010.
Filler is coming off of a breakout year in which he won the China Open, placed in the top 10 at the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship and earned the Most Valuable Player award at December’s Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas.
Estonia’s Denis Grabe also will be competing in this weekend’s event, looking to repeat the performance he gave at the first WPS event of the year – April’s Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship. Grabe used a punishing break shot and stellar safety play to fight through the one-loss side of the bracket and defeat Greece’s Alex Kazakis 17-7 in the championship.
Also looking to add to an already impressive WPS resume this weekend is U.S. Open 9-Ball runner-up Klenti Kaci. Last year, the young Albanian won the Aramith Masters as well as the season-ending Predator World Series and placed third in the RYO Rack Classic. Kaci placed in the top 10 at April’s Aramith Championship and won the Simonis 9-Ball Players Challenge, the second chance tournament for players eliminated from the main event.
This weekend’s event has once again drawn a strong International field, with reigning U.S. Open 9-Ball champion Jayson Shaw, World Pool Masters champion Niels Feijen, Derby City Classic 9-ball division champion Chris Melling, and reigning European 10-Ball Champion Marc Bijsterbosch entered in the four-day event. Filling out the remainder of the 41-player bracket is Germany’s Ralf Souquet, Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, and Finland’s Mika Immonen.
Pool fans looking to check out the action in person in Queens can take advantage of free admission to the facility throughout the weekend.
The Rasson 10-Ball Masters Championship is the second event of the four-tournament 2018 World Pool Series. Created by Darren Appleton, the WPS is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui and our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
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