Jason Klatt and Alex Kazakis spent the better part of their match Saturday evening giving a demonstration on running out.
In a match they see-sawed back and forth throughout, the Greek Kazakis ran five racks in a row on his way to defeating the Canadian Klatt 3-2 in a sudden death shootout period in the quarterfinals of the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship. Overall, the two players combined for 11 break-and-runs in their match.
“I feel really good. Also, Jason. We both played great. I think it was one of the best matches in the tournament,” Kazakis said.
He also added the match that being a native of Greece and playing at Astoria’s Steinway Billiards may have provided some extra incentive to advance in the tournament.
“It’s a Greek-owned place and I never won a tournament here and I really want to. So, I think that made me try harder in this match,” Kazakis said. “It feels like home here.”
However, Klatt looked poised to take control of the match early on, winning six of the first eight games to take a 6-2 lead. With a wide-open table, Klatt had the opportunity to win another rack to take a 7-2 lead but miscued on the 5-ball.
“It was the positioning there. I shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” Klatt said after the match about the shot.
Kazakis finished off the rack to cut the lead to in half at 6-3. He would then put on one of the best displays of breaking and position play in the four-day World Pool Series event, running five racks in a row to jump out to an 8-6 advantage.
After Klatt missed a 6-ball in the 15th game, Kazakis strung together a couple more wins to take what appeared to be a commanding 10-6 lead.
“I was just being patient to try and get an opportunity at the table,” Klatt said.
Klatt eventually did get an opportunity when Kazakis broke dry in the 15th game. Klatt then put together a run of his own, finishing off the rack then breaking and running three straight racks to tie the set at 10 games apiece. After Klatt broke dry in the 21st game, Kazakis methodically closed out the game then mixed in one final break and run to climb onto the hill and take a 12-10 lead.
With a chance to close out the match in the 23rd game Kazakis missed a 2-ball. Klatt would then use a sharp cut shot on the same ball to complete the rack then win the 24th game to knot the set at 12 and send the match to a sudden death shootout.
Both players made their shots in the first two rounds of sudden death but Klatt missed a corner pocket cut shot in the third round while Kazekis pocketed his. Klatt had a chance to extend the overtime in the fifth round but missed
“I got a couple of runs at the end to get back in it. I can’t be mad. I had an opportunity to win at the end,” Klatt said.
The Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship is the first event of the 2018 World Pool Series. This event is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from April 19th to 22nd, 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, On The Wire, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.