Jayson Shaw crashed out of the 2022 World Pool Masters at the Europa Point Sports Complex, Gibraltar live on Sky Sports, DAZN, Viaplay, and Matchroom.Live in selected countries as Skyler Woodward, Dimitri Jungo, Lo Ho Sum, and Mieszko Fortunski came through the opening Preliminary Stage matches.
Preliminary Stage Day 1
Oliver Szolnoki 3-7 Skyler Woodward
Mario He 3-7 Dimitri Jungo
Denis Grabe 4-7 Lo Ho Sum
Jayson Shaw 2-7 Mieszko Fortunski
Woodward faced a tricky opening test against Oliver Szolnoki of Hungary who was making his World Pool Masters debut, but the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP proved too strong in the end in a 7-3 win. Szolnoki didn’t look too shaken by the stage and 4″ pockets in the opening rack to lead 1-0 after winning the lag and it remained tight as Woodward made it one apiece. Not much separated them still as it went 3-3 but that’s when Woodward made haste to book a Last 16 contest with Joshua Filler on Saturday evening.
Last year, Woodward overcome compatriot Billy Thorpe in the preliminary stage 7-1, and he went 4-3 up before a string of outrageous rolls in the following rack making the four when trying to play safe on the one before finding himself hooked on the one. The American then jumped the one ball before it rebounded off four rails to make the middle pocket. If those two flukes were not enough, Woodward then proceeded to make the six ball in an attempt to make the two as the cue ball came back up the table to roll the six in. It seemed it wasn’t going to be Szolnoki’s day though as Woodward kept things going to seal the victory.
Woodward was pleased with his showing after losing both matches at the World Pool Championship last month: “The last few tournaments things haven’t gone my way with some very bad results. I felt good at the World Pool Championships, and I got beat but that happens. Things can turn around though, it’s a new tournament. Playing on tight pockets at home is nice and the cloth on my table is worn out so it helps when we come here! It makes me feel like the pockets here are wider. The tables play well.”
“I am looking forward to playing Joshua Filler. It’s always a dog fight. I can’t wait to play again on Saturday night,” added Woodward.
Two debutants met in the second encounter of the night as Switzerland’s Jungo met close friend Mario He who got the last-minute call-up to the field as a replacement. The pair spar quite often in Zurich, and it was He who was quickest off the mark to lead 2-0. Jungo bit back at 2-2 before he led for the first time in the contest at 3-2 after He left the seven ball over the pocket after failing to make what was a tricky cut. Jungo soon opened a two-rack buffer for the first time at 4-2 before He got what proved to be his final rack on the board at 4-3. For the most part, it was a nervy contest, but Jungo showed minerals to hold it together and secure a valiant win.
Denis Grabe stood in the way of Lo and a dream World Pool Masters debut with the Estonian looking to go better than last year where he reached the quarterfinals. Lo of Hong Kong, China has a burgeoning reputation in the game after victories over both David Alcaide and Ekent Kaci in the World Pool Championship and it was he who got on top of matters. Grabe will not want to see the winning moment for Lo back anytime soon though as he dogged the nine ball as Lo sat on the hill at 6-4 up. Lo made a simple nine over the pocket for a huge win in a tournament he described as a ‘dream come true’ when he got the call up. Lo will face World Champion Shane Van Boening in the Last 16.
Fortunski put on a clinical display as Shaw was frozen to his chair in the last piece of action of the night. After winning the lag, Fortunski took the opening rack before missing a simple nine ball to give Shaw a route into the match. Shaw ran the third rack to lead at 2-1 but Shaw missed the two ball in the proceeding rack in what proved to be a key moment in the match. Fortunski goes by the name of the Butcher, and he slaughtered his opponent from there on in with a 71% break and run success rate potting more than 50 balls than Shaw who only missed one ball all game (the two ball in rack four).
The preliminary stage continues tomorrow from 1 pm Central European Time with the biggest clash of the opening round as Ko Ping Chung meets his brother Ko Pin Yi for a spot in the Last 16. Last year’s semi-finalist Eklent Kaçi meets previous winner Dennis Orcollo before Abdullah Alyousef makes his World Pool Masters debut against two-time champion Niels Feijen. Francisco Sanchez Ruiz wraps up the afternoon action against late call-up Mika Immonen of Finland.
Friday 6th May – Afternoon Session – Preliminary Stage – 1:00 pm Central European Time
Ko Ping Chung vs Ko Pin Yi
Eklent Kaçi vs Dennis Orcollo
Abdullah Alyousef vs Niels Feijen
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz vs Mika Immonen
Friday 6th May – Evening Session – Last 16 – 7:00 pm Central European Time
Alexander Kazakis (1) vs Dennis Orcollo or Eklent Kaçi
Max Lechner (5) vs Mario He or Dimitri Jungo
Shane Van Boening (2) vs Lo Ho Sum or Denis Grabe