Van Boening, who won the 2016 US Open 8-Ball & 10-Ball Championships, is hoping to repeat last year’s double dip. His path to the hot seat included wins over Sina Valizadeh, 8-2; Manny Perez, 8-5; Josh Roberts, 8-3; and Lee Vann Corteza, 8-6.
Corteza and Pagulayan join four others in the loser’s bracket, all hoping to grab a place in the finals.
Vinnie Calabrese of Australia has been an impressive talent throughout the tournament. Calabrese posted wins over Hunter Lombardo, 8-7 and Kim Laaksonen, 8-5 before losing to Corteza, 6-8. On the B side of the bracket, he beat: Danny Stone, 8-7; Justin Bergman, 8-6; and Nick Malaj, 8-7. Calabrese will play Denis Grabe of Estonia at 9 a.m.
Grabe has also put a lot of great talent out of the tournament, with wins over: Michael Yednak, 8-7; Francisco Bustamante, 8-7 and Thorsten Hohmann, 8-2, before losing to Alex Pagulayan, 3-8. In the loser’s bracket, he bested Dennis Hatch, 8-6 and now faces Calabrese in the morning. The loser of that match is eliminated and places 5th/6th.
Hohmann “The Hitman” of Germany is also fighting his way through the loser’s bracket. He beat Jesse Bowman, 8-4 in the first round and then was sent to the B side by Grabe, 2-8. Hohmann then beat Oscar Domiguez, 8-7; Kim Laaksonen, 8-4; and Josh Roberts, 8-4. He faces Rodney “The Rocket” Morris at 9 a.m. PST.
Morris, always a crowd favorite, beat Chris Melling, 8-3 and Justin Bergman, 8-6, before losing to Lee Vann Corteza, then he beat Danny Olson to guarantee himself at least 5th/6th and a chance to continue through to the finals.
The 2017 US Open 8-Ball is being held at Griff’s in Las Vegas in conjunction with the 41st BCAPL National Championships, July 19-29 at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The event featured more than 5,000 amateur players representing 47 states, nine Canadian provinces and 11 countries, competing in approximately 40 divisions, on 300 Diamond pool tables. The annual tournament also includes about 50 exhibitors. Sponsors include Viking, Kamui, Omega Billiards, Cyclop, Diamond, Simonis, and Predator.