Reigning World Pool Champion Albin Ouschan and FargoRate Ohio Open winner Mario He are definitely familiar with not only each other but each other’s game, with both calling Austria home as well as competing and traveling together for the last dozen or so years.
In Wednesday’s opening round of the Arcadia Arizona Open at Casino Del Sol Resort, the two acquaintances took turns taking advantage of missed shots and misplayed position as He came from behind to defeat Ouschan in a sudden death shootout, 5-4. The match was one of 11 during the opening day of play which required a spot shot shooting contest to determine the winner – with some notable names now on the one-loss side of the bracket after missing shots during the extra frame.
He took advantage of a couple of early mistakes by his opponent to build an early 2-0 lead in the race-to-four first set, but Ouschan gutted out a pair of racks to the match. After He claimed the fifth rack to regain the lead, Ouschan had a chance to tie the match again but struggled to control the cue ball and ultimately missed position on the 6 ball, allowing He to claim the first set. The tables turned in the following frame, with Ouschan building a 3-2 advantage while He controlled the table with a chance to tie the match. While attempting to pocket the 6 ball and secure position on the 7 on the opposite side of the table, He drew the cue ball backwards and watched as it rebounded off the rail and into the side pocket, allowing Ouschan to close out the set and send the match to a shootout.
Both players were flawless in the first portion of the extra frame, as each deposited the 10 ball into the corner pocket four consecutive times. When the format switched to sudden death and the cue ball was moved back a diamond, Ouschan missed his first attempt while He connected on his and earned the victory.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s Jeremy Seaman is certainly not a stranger to the U.S. Pro Billiard Series, having battled his way into a fifth-place finish at October’s FargoRate Ohio Open. Wednesday afternoon, Seaman continued to show fearlessness and determination, battling back from a 4-3 first set defeat at the hands of former World Pool Masters winner David Alcaide to claim the second set and win his opening round match in a shootout. With the match tied at three games each, Seaman executed a sharp cut on the 2 ball followed by a cross-side bank shot into the side pocket on the 3 ball to help run out the rack and claim the set, 4-3.
Both players made the first two shots during the extra-frame shootout before each missed in their third try. After Alcaide failed to pocket the ball for a second time, the American came to the table and tumbled the 10 ball into the corner pocket to secure the victory, 3-2.
In other notable matches, U.S. Open Pool champion Carlo Biado took advantage of a handful of errors by opponent Jesus Atencio to win in straight sets, 4-2, 4-1 and former U.S. Open Pool champion Corey Deuel breezed by BCA Hall of Famer Thorsten Hohmann, 4-1, 4-1. Two-time United States Mosconi Cup member Chris Reinhold survived a scare from Mickey Krouse of the Netherlands, bouncing back from a 4-2 first round loss to win the second set, 4-3 and win a shootout, 3-1. Reinhold then defeated Roberto Gomez Jr in straight sets 4-1, 4-2 to earn a spot in Friday’s third round of play.
Competition resumes today at 10 a.m. local time, with notable matches including He facing BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet, Japan’s Naoyuki Oi matching up against Filipino Alex Pagulayan and World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis squaring off against Max Lechner.
Live coverage of the Arcadia Arizona Open will be streamed for free on any device with Billiard TV or the World Billiard TV YouTube channel throughout the week. Follow @probilliardseries on social media for up-to-date information, or visit probilliardseries.com for the latest results and live brackets.
About the Predator US Pro Billiard Series, presented by CSI
This year’s field of players will be playing for a larger prize fund, as Pro Billiard Series co-creators Predator Group and CueSports International announced last month that the total added money for this year’s six events has grown to nearly a half-million dollars – including $52,500 for this year’s Arizona Open, more than double last year’s total. Each of this year’s events will have more than $52,000 added which will upgrade these tournaments all to World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) Category 3 sanctioned events, securing the exclusive dates on the WPA calendar and allowing players to earn more WPA ranking points from each event.
The winner of each 2022 event will receive a guaranteed spot in the 2023 Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held February 27 through March 3 in Las Vegas. Additionally, a minimum of the top 12 players in the Predator US Pro Billiard Series rankings who are not otherwise invited by the WPA, a WPA continental federation or a promoter wild card, will also earn spots in the 2023 Predator World 10-Ball Championship.
The Predator Pro Billiard Series is a series of open, professional events held around the world to provide more opportunities for professional and aspiring pool players to compete in high-quality events, earn more income, sharpen their skills, and earn their way into the Predator World 10-Ball Championship held in Las Vegas each year as part of the CueSports International Expo.
The Predator U.S. Pro Billiard Series by CSI feature six open professional events during the calendar year. Created by league operator CueSports International together with the Predator Group, these tournaments will run in tandem alongside of CSI league events being held throughout the country. The winner of each competition receives a guaranteed spot in the following year Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held during the annual CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.
These events are played on Predator Apex professionnal tables covered with Predator Arcadia Reserve Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI Leagues, CSI Events and CSI Media. CSI Leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI Events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI Media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com.
Predator’s mission is to inspire billiard fans by providing innovative experiences and products that deliver high-performance, with unsurpassed class and style. Predator, Poison and Uni-Loc are Predator Group brands that focus on performance pool tables, cues, billiard accessories, and precision components. For more information regarding Predator Group’s products, visit www.predatorcues.com, www.poisoncues.com and www.uni-loc.com.
FargoRate computes pocket-billiard player ratings that rate pool players worldwide. FargoRate currently has over 19.1 million games played by nearly a quarter million players from 130 countries in its massive data set. Coupling game win/loss data across local leagues, regions, countries, and continents ensures players everywhere are rated on the same scale. Its mission is to usher in a new era for pocket billiards in which all players everywhere are interconnected and rated by objective performance. For more information about FargoRate, visit www.fargorate.com.