The past couple of years have been rather lucrative for Filipino Carlo Biado. In 2017, the 35-year-old earned top honors at the World Pool and Billiards Association’s World 9-Ball Championships in Doha, Qatar and also placed in the top five at a half-dozen prestigious events – including the Derby City Classic 10-Ball Challenge, the Super Billiards Expo Professional Championship, and World Pool Series’ Aramith Masters. Last year, Biado won Indonesia’s Jogja Open and came within a few racks of becoming the first back-to-back World 9-Ball champion since Earl Strickland, falling to Joshua Filler in the finals.
Biado looks to carry the momentum from his performance in Qatar into this weekend’s Predator Grand Final, which gets underway today in Astoria, Queens. The Filipino will square off against Omar Alshaheen, who is coming off of his most productive year in professional pool. The Kuwaiti was crowned champion of the 45th Texas Open over Labor Day weekend, was the runner-up at the Freezer’s Ice House 10-ball Challenge and placed ninth at the United States Open 10-Ball Championships.
Biado and Alshaheen – who will be the showcase match on the live streaming table – will kick off this morning’s first round of play in the four-day, double-elimination tournament. Nine of the 18 matches will get underway at 11 AM Eastern time and the remaining contests are scheduled to begin at 1 PM – with reigning Super Billiards Expo professional champion Mike Dechaine slated to face Lebanon’s Mohammed Ali Berjaoui on the streaming table.
Fourteen players in this weekend’s competition were awarded first-round byes, including past champions Filler, Klenti Kaci, Chris Melling, Denis Grabe, and Ruslan Chinahov. Filler, who claimed top honors in June’s 10-ball Players Championship, is scheduled to play at 6:30 PM against the winner of the afternoon match between American Eric Lim and Pia Filler, Joshua’s wife.
Kaci, who won the 2017 Aramith Masters as well as that year’s Grand Final, awaits the winner of a morning match between Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn and Morocco’s Jamal Oussi. Melling won August’s 8-Ball Classic Championship and will face either American James Lee or Russian rising junior female superstar Kristina Tkach in his opening match.
Also receiving byes are Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Alex Kazakis of Greece, American Straight Pool Championship runner-up Thorsten Hohmann, Filipino Dennis Orcullo, Zion Zvi of Israel, and former United States Open 9-ball champions Ralf Souquet, Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, and Mika Immonen.
The 16 second round matches will be spread throughout the afternoon, with six contests beginning at 4 PM, five scheduled to start at 6:30 PM and the final five matches getting underway at 9 PM.
Fans looking to watch the action can purchase a pay-per-view online streaming package – with one-day viewing passes costing $8.95 and four-day tournament access costing $24.95. As a special teaser, the first match will be available via our Facebook page.
This last event of the 2018 World Pool Series, The Predator Grand Final, is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from January 17-20, 2019. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Predator, Poison, Aramith, Rasson, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com
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