Scotland’s Jayson Shaw has been busy during the opening third of 2022.
He began the new year by winning yet another Turning Stone Classic – his seventh career victory at the event – and earned over $22,000 at the Derby City Classic a couple of weeks later, finishing second in Master of the Table honors to Fedor Gorst by mere points. In between these tournaments, Shaw made his way to Virginia and broke John Schmidt’s record for straight pool, pocketing consecutive 714 balls.
As he now heads into the final day of competition at the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, the reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player appears to again be in top form. Needing two victories to qualify for the final 16 knockout phase, Shaw delivered a knockout of his own, shutting out Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Thorsten Hohmann, 8-0. Playing again hours later against Jonas Souto, the Scotsman again made the game look easy as he disposed of the Spaniard at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.
Hohmann, who turned in a top-10 finish at the 192-player Alfa Las Vegas Open last weekend, struggled from the start as he failed to pocket a ball on the break twice and missed a 4 ball in the third game. Shaw took full advantage, building an early 3-0 advantage that just continued to snowball. Holding a suffocating 7-0 lead, Shaw failed to pocket a ball on the break and it appeared Hohmann was about climb onto the scoreboard. As he worked his way through the rack, the former World 9-Ball champion missed a 5 ball in the corner pocket and handed a wide-open table back to Shaw, who closed the rack to finish out the shutout.
Facing Spaniard Souto in his second match of the day, Shaw used solid shot making along with stellar safety play which gave his opponent fits, as the former International Open champion won six of the first seven games in the race-to-10 match. After Souto took advantage of a couple of openings left by Shaw to narrow the deficit, the Spaniard had a chance to narrow cut into the lead more in the 11th game but scratched after pocketing the 1 ball. Shaw cleared the table, then took advantage of a foul and another miss by his opponent in subsequent racks to close out the match, 10-3.
Also exhibiting a dominating performance on Thursday was defending champion Eklent Kaci, who ran away early in his match against Alex Pagulayan – thanks in large part to a tardiness gaffe by the BCA Hall of Famer.
After arriving 10 minutes late for the start of his match, Pagulayan was issued a two-game penalty – one for every five minutes that he was late – which spotted his opponent a 2-0 advantage. After the Filipino missed shots in the first and third games played and Kaci added a break-and-run, the Albanian had increased his lead to 5-0. Pagulayan cobbled together a couple of wins after Kaci jumped the cue ball off of the table in the seventh game but lost momentum when he rolled the cue ball behind the 8 ball while attempting to secure position on the 7 ball. After missing the shot, Kaci finished off the rack to increase his lead to 8-2, then took advantage of a dry break by his opponent to climb onto the hill. After Pagulayan added on another rack to cut the lead to 9-3, Kaci again ran out the rack in the 13th game when his opponent again failed to pocket a ball on the break.
The evening’s round of 32 competition concluded with a Turn Back the Clock matchup between two undefeated Hall of Famers, Mika Immonen and Darren Appleton, who struggled at times with shot making and but gutted out a 10-5 victory.
After splitting the first four racks, Appleton took advantage of back-to-back dry breaks and a pair of missed shots by his opponent to win four out of five games and build a commanding 7-3 lead. The Englishman had a chance climb onto the hill at 9-3 but missed a makeable 10 ball in the corner pocket. Immonen cleared the table to cut the deficit to 8-4 and added another win in the 11 rack, but breaks and runs by Appleton in the 10th and 12th rack sealed the deal.
With the final 16 set, competition will resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time with eight matches, including Naoyuki Oi meeting Chris Reinhold; Lee Vann Corteza facing Kaci; Daniel Maciol matching up against Edgie Geronimo and Wojciech Szewczyck squaring off against Denis Grabe. Other notable matches include Mieszko Fortunski tangling with Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Shaw taking on Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, who advanced to the round of 32 by defeating World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis in a hill-hill battle.
The Predator World 10-Ball Championship runs March 28-April 1 and also taking place is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.
The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.
Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.