Tornado Tony Triumphant!
SWE faced a red hot Tony Drago MLT for the rights to move into the
finals of the Predator International 10-Ball Championship. Chamat had
already eliminated heavy hitters such as Immonen, Niels Feijen, and
Defending Champion Shane Van Boening. Drago the night before kncoked
out in thrilling 11-10 fashion Alex Pagulayan who was looking to do a
trifecta this week.
game Chamat made a terrific carom kick shot one rail on the 10-ball.
Dragon came back the next. Chamat eventually took control at 7-4. But
Drago's persistance was overwhelming and his lightning fast game
continued to shell shock the Swede as he took the next 7 games in a row
to win 11-7.
In the next
semi-finals match, USA's lone hope Jeremy Jones faced the dangerous
Francisco Bustamante of Philippines. Jones made several unforced errors
while Bustamante looked at ease running out. The more methotical Jones
seemed out of sync with the 30 sec shot clock and was soon overwhelmed
with the barrage of offense from Francisco. Jones would succumb 11-3 .
International 10-Ball Championship: The Final Four!
"I wish I
would have had a TV match earlier this week. This table plays completely
different than the others. A lot slower. I couln't place my cue ball
properly," commented Jones after the match.
match was then set with Europe vs Asia as Drago takes on Bustamante.
Tony Drago of
Malta, probably the fastest pool player in the world, found himself in
the biggest finals of his life against probably the world's most
dangerous player, Filipino nightmare Francisco Bustamante. Drago had won
one pool event, a 16 man invitational called the World Pool Masters 5
years ago, but this event, The Predator International 10-Ball
Championship with a field of 96 world class pros, was on a different
The first few
games the nerves were showing on both players as many chances were given
to each. Drgao kept the upper hand throughout to maintain a small lead
never looked comfortable, as he has been cursed over the years as
bridesmaid to many events including 2nd at the World 9-Ball
Championships. Francisco was not controlling the cue ball properly, had
missed kicks, and missed shots way before the middle of the finals.
despite some mistakes, was still maintaing some great run outs.
had chances to tie and take leads as he trailed 7-5, 7-6, 8-7, then tied
at 8-8. Drago regained lead at 9-8, 10-8, 11-8, and then Bustamante
halted the run at 11-9. Drago took the game to get on the hill at 12-9
and made two razor thin cut shots down the rail at the speed of light it
seemed, knowing victory was just seconds away.
A final fist
pump after receiving shape on the 10-ball, Bustamante threw in the towel
before Drago could shoot the 10-ball and the two combatants embraced.
"I'm sorry to
my fans for playing bad. But Drago shot well, but he's crazy! He shoots
so fast...crazy! But thanks to the sponsors and Drago Promotions for
this event." said the good natured Francisco.
"The money is
great, but really this trophy is really what means the world to me.
Beating a player like Francisco to win, that's very meaningful. I have
to give myself some credit, I played well and hard to win this and beat
players of this magnitude" said Drago after the match. "This is one of
the most organized and well run events I've ever played in. Dragon
Promotions has done a class job, and I'm happy to be playing in an event
like this. I'm definitely going to be playing alot more events!"
Drago Whirlwinds Past Foes:
Highlights of Day 2,3 & 4.
The top three
pool powerhouse continents are still in business in the final four
players of the Predator International 10-Ball Championship. Europe,
Asia, and USA. From 33 Americans, 22 Europeans, and 19 Asians it has
been dwindled down to the Final 16 with 5 USA, 5 Europeans, 4 Asia, 1
Canadian and 1 Mexico. That has been shaved down to the Final Four
consisting of Jeremy Jones USA, Francisco Bustamante PHI, Tony Drago of
Malta, and Marcus Chamat SWE.
Bustamante is the only seeded player left in the event and only Filipino
out of the strong contingent of seven Filipinos to survive. The European
and North American forces outflanked the strong Filipinos, who had been
very dominant the past year in 2007, but having a slow start in 2008.
hope resides on the shoulders of Texan Jeremy Jones. Jones, a very
experienced pro with a US Open title under his belt, has been off and on
the last few years in the pool circuit. He was unseeded in the event so
took the long journey out to the final four. His wins included a 10-9
win over Charlie Bryant, then he defeated Louis Ulrich, Tomoki Mekari
JPN, before losing to Dominguez MEX. He bounced back into the final 16
with a dominating win against Stan Tourangeau CAN. In the final 16 he
faced red hot Raj Hundal of India, and then he defeated the last
Canadian standing Tyler Edey. Jones will be tested in the semi-finals
against the dangerous Bustamante of the Philippines next.
Tony Drago of
Malta, known as the Tornado, has made a dramatic entrance into his first
major international pool championship. Thus far he has gone undefeated
all the way into the semi-finals and is only 2 matches away from being
crowned Predator International 10-Ball Champion.
with a 10-8 win over Salvas CAN, the took out last year's runner up
Cliff Joyner USA, Gareth Esprit DOM, and then Tyler Edey CAN to get into
the final 16.
Once in the
last 16 players of the event, the format changed to race to 11. First
Drago defeated Darren Appleton GBR then he made an amazing match of
former World 9-Ball Champion Alex Pagulayan PHI . Losing 10-9, Drago
made a great kick shot off a Pagulayan safety and then a nice safety
exchange before running the rack and then won the last game 11-10 to the
cheers of his new USA fans.
"This is a
class event. It's one of the most well run and well organized events
I've ever played in. I've deeply enjoyed myself thus far." said Drago.
"I can't how
tough this field is and how many strong players are here. And the event
looks great, by far this is the best event I've seen Dragon Promotions
produce in the US." said Corey Deuel.
Europe alive is Marcus Chamat of Sweden. Chamat has had an impressive
run in the event knocking out World 9-Ball Champion Mika Immonen FIN and
World 10-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening. He also included Filipino pro
Ramil Gallego and Derby City 9-Ball Champ Niels Feijen on his belt. This
would be a great win for the Swede as his last title came in 2005 at The
World Summit of Pool in New York City.
For full coverage and brackets and latest pictures goto
Allison Fisher Defeat's
Spanish #1 Alcaide: Hofstatter Crushes Tony Crosby
Fisher is keeping the women alive with her 10-9 win against David
Alcaide of Spain. The match began with Alcaide jumping to a 2-0 lead and
later 4-1 as he capitalized on Fisher's unforced errors. Slowly Fisher
kept the pressure on and came back to 4-3. From there the match see
sawed back and forth until Alcaide led 9-8. Both players had tremendous
problems making a ball on the break.
A mistake by
David allowed Fisher to run out to tie 9-9. Finally Fisher made a ball
on the break and was left with the cueball almost frozen to the rail
with a long off angle shot on the 2 ball. Fisher took aim in her famous
snooker form and sent the 2 ball into the hole and proceeded to run the
rest of the rack.
Hofstatter and close friend Kristi Carter could be seen celebrating and
beating the tables like drums in triumph for Allison. "I finally made a
ball on the break!" exclaimed Fisher after the match.
as much poise and composure as any player I've ever seen. Man or woman."
commented Jay Helfert.
Hofstatter had been beaten out of the event earlier by France's Stefan
Choen, she did put another noch in her belt before she left. Gerda was
trailing USA's Top 16 Pro Tony "Sniper " Crosby 3-0 when she made a
dramatic momentum swing and won 10 of the next 11 games for a 10-4
"I wish I had
played better in my last match against Cohen, but I did play really well
against Tony." said Hofstatter.
remained the sole woman left of the six entered and defeated Dominican
Champion Gareth Esprit before bowing to USA's young gun Michael
Dechaine,20 years old. Fisher ended the event finishing at 25th place
tie out of 96 participants.
Vegas, Nevada- Fans wait no longer, it is officially launched! Goto
and see all the information on event and live scoring of the matches
during the 8th Annual Predator International 10-Ball Championship. Fans
can also view the brackets and results of matches as well as pictures
from the event and info on all the players participating.
Kozoom.com will also be live streaming the matches daily. Every round of
the event will feature a TV match-up. Schedule daily will be PST
10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm.
The live scoring and live stream on Kozoom.com will lead into Saturday
May 17,2008 filming of the final four players for EUROSPORT.
The 8th Annual Predator International 10-Ball Championship is produced
by Dragon Promotions. The event is hosted by the BCA Pool Leagues at the
Riviera Hotel & Casino May 13-17,2008 and sponsored by The Predator
Group, Seyberts.com, Diamond Billiard Products, Simonis Cloth, Aramith
Balls, Delta-13 Rack, and Extreme Focus Sports Drink. The event matches
will be covered daily by Kozoom.com
Silences the Lion: Van Boening & Reyes Fall!
Nevada- Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan has had the hot hand all week in Las
Vegas. First he won the World Pool Masters and $20,000 1st Place. Then
he won another cool $10,000 in The Action Report Challenge against Shane
Van Boening. The Filipino sensation continued onto the Predator
International 10-Ball Championship as the #5 seed getting a bye and then
man handled French Champion Stefan Cohen 10-5. The Lion was looking
unstoppable until USA's Charlie Williams got in his way.
match started with Williams winning the lag and jokingly said, "At least
I won the lag". The Korean Dragon then proceeded with a perfect break
squatting the cue ball in the center of the table and running out, and
then duplicating that feat again the next rack. A dry break in rack 3
gave Alex an opening to run out for a win and then a skid on the 1ball
in game 4 by Williams another win for Alex. Williams then pulled away at
3-3 and proceeded to play near perfect pool and coming with several
great jump shots recovering from Pagulayan's crafty safeties. Pagulayan
eventually succumbed to Williams barrage of offense and escapes 10-4. In
the final game Alex in joking manner tried to shark Williams and give
him the last remaining 2 balls, but Williams continued to shoot them in
ignoring Alex. Afterwards Charlie explained that if he allowed Alex to
concede Alex would have to start his next match minus 1 game as a
penalty under the rules of the International 10-Ball Championship. "Alex
is a friend and I know he missed the players meeting because he was
playing Shane, so I didn't want him to be penalized" said Williams.
This is the
fourth encounter Williams and Pagulayan have had professionally, with
Williams winning all four times.
"G$! damn he
shot good against me! He always plays good when I play him. He's got my
number because I've never beaten him. Him and Souquet! Oh well, I'm
still happy cause I've won alot already this week!" said the good
" I joked to
Alex after he beat Shane in the race to 100 that now he was in trouble
because he had to play me again. For some reason I always play great
when I play him. Perhaps because I know I have to in order to win." said
Williams, who is also Co-Owner of Dragon Promotions which is producing
the event. "I controlled the cueball well and didn't miss any easy
shots, and the Predator Air Jump Cue saved my butt alot. But honestly
Alex is the definite better player. He has impressed me so much over the
years and he really lives up to his namesake, heart of a "lion". And he
is just a fun and good person as well as sportsman. But I wouldn't want
to play him a race to 100!"
#1 seed Shane
Van Boening, the hottest cuesman in North America, looked on his way to
defend his title as he was shooting the winning 10-Ball as he was up 9-7
against Mexico's Ernesto Dominguez. Unbelievably Shane missed! Dominguez
then won that game and ran out the remaining two racks to seal Van
stunned when I saw the kid miss!" said Robin Bell, Hall of Famer and 2x
Women's World Champion. She had come to support Ernesto who resides near
her home in Los Angeles. "He (Van Boening) had a routine shot on the
10-ball and no one expected a miss. I don't know much about him, but
someone told me he's a great player. It was an amazing match."
"I think that
loss to Alex the other night has rattled Shane's cage a little. Losing
when your up 23 games is pretty hard to handle for anyone I think. He's
human." said one top pro.
anticipated match up, #22 seed John "Mr.400" Schmidt of the USA had to
find a way to out mystify Filipino King of Pool, Efren "The Magician"
Reyes, who was seeded #11. Previously they had only played once before
with Reyes coming out on top.
the early lead at 4-1 before giving Schmidt an opening. Schmidt then ran
out and broke and ran 4 consecutive racks to lead 6-4. The games then
went back and forth but Schmidt came with superb offensive shots and
clever safety duels with Reyes to maintain the lead. The Kozoom.com team
was filming the match and the Predator TV arena was packed, with the
crowds gasping and cheering with Schmidt's gutsy shots. John eventually
won the match at 10-7.
really well, but man did Efren come with some ridiculous outs! I just
happen to get a chance to get rolling early on and I put together those
break and runs, and that's what gave me the edge till the end. It was
just solid pool and a good match." said Schmidt, who earlier had dodged
a bullet against Germany's young gun Nico Otterman 10-8.
matches included Mosconi Cup Brothers Marcus Chamat SWE and Mika Immonen
FIN paired up. Mika drove 5-2 ahead and then saw Marcus comeback with 5
break and runs and at 8-5 Chamat's favor, Mika could not re-group.
"I'm up 5-2,
next thing I know I'm at the table losing 8-5 with a tough shot. How do
you deal with that?" a bewildered Immonen commented after the match.
also went down in history as the first Indian poolplayer to topple a
World Champion and US Open Champion as he dismantled #3 seed Johnny
legend Stan Tourangeau of Canada also stayed alive on the losers side
defeating Spain's Diego Simon 10-9. USA's Gabe Owen took down #4 seed
Ralf Souquet 10-7, and Niels Feijen NED won his match against Karl Boyes
fighting to stay alive to the last 16 players where players will be
re-seeded according to their records and then a new draw will set the
final single elimination brackets on Friday night.
Complete brackets and live streaming at
Nevada- With 96 invited pros, not too many easy draws in the event. Top
names already scattering the losers side include Thomas Engert GER,
Ramil Gallega PHI, Warren Kiamco PHI, Christian Reimering GER, Mike
Davis USA, Charlie Bryant USA, and more.
"This is one of the
toughest fields I've ever seen. It's impossible to not face a top
player by your second match. This might be a harder start than even the
World 9-Ball Championship." said Raj Hundal, representing India for the
first time in the USA.
The pro women
also had a hard first day for 5 out of the 6 women playing in the
Predator International 10-Ball Championships. The six women invited to
play are Yu Ram Cha(Korea Champion), Yukiko Hamanishi(Japan Champion),
Amalia Matas (Spanish Champion), Sarah Rousey(Top USA pro), Gerda
Hofstatter(WPBA #2 from Austria), and the World's #1 Allison Fisher of
dropped a 10-5 match to Japan JBC #2 Goh Takami while Yu Ram Cha never
got going against Aruba's Richard Wolffe 10-3. Haminishi was not enough
for experienced Ernesto Dominguez of Mexico and Matas also failed in her
first round attempt.
Not all was
at a loss though for the women. Gerda Hofstatter might have had some
extra motivation being sponsored in the event by Predator as she came
back from behind 6-2 to win a close 10-8 against experienced, big time
road player Chris Bartrum of the USA. Gerda moves on to face #27 seed
Charlie Williams of the USA tomorrow morning. Williams and Hofstatter
are both big advocates of Predator Cues.
" I respect
Gerda's game. There are definitely some serious talent among the women
nowadays. I won't take her lightly." says Charlie Williams, former BCA
Allison Fisher, being ranked #1 in the World, was
the lone woman seeded in the event at #31 and received a bye. She faces
Mexico's intimidating Rafael Martinez tomorrow and will be playing live
on video stream on
If she wins she will have yet a bigger challenge if Francisco Bustamante
wins his match.
match many fans and also pros been waiting for. Tony Drago versus Luc
Salvas. The Tornado against The Machine Gun.
In a match
that lasted only 44 minutes playing 18 games, each game averaged at 2
minutes 40 seconds per rack. In comparison, most of the other matches
have taken 1.5 hours - 2 hours to play at 6-7 minutes per rack.
the first game and then Drago went on a 6 game streak to lead 6-1.
Salvas fought back hard to keep the match close but ended up succumbing
10-8 to Tony.
upstairs in the Skybox practicing with Efren, and everytime we glanced
down the scoreboard was changing it seemed every few moments! These guys
were putting the balls and racks together so fast that you couldn't
blink or you'd miss the game." said one pro.
In a moment
of great sportsmanship, both players embraced each other after the
"It was a
hard match because Luc is a great guy and we are friends." said Drago
after the match. When asked if there was any additional pressure to play
faster than normal to outdo the other fast shooter Dragon simply stated,
"I always just play my game and speed regardless. Besides, how can I
play any faster? If I played faster than this I'd miss the whole ball!"
Below are some great shots of the event courtesy
of Inside Pool Magazine for full gallery go to
The official photos of the entire event are at
Air Predator International 10-Ball Championships!
Nevada- Dragon Promotions, Kozoom.com, and The Predator Group are very
pleased with the signing of EUROSPORT as the official TV network
broadcasting the 8th Annual Predator International 10-Ball Championship.
EUROSPORT, the #1 sports network in Europe, will be broadcasting the
final three matches of the Predator Championship on Saturday May 17,2008
at the Riviera Hotel & Casino.
exciting to work with such a respected network in Europe. EUROSPORT will
definitely add more prestige to the event and give a larger stage that
the players from around the world deserve." says Cindy Lee, CEO of
Dragon Promotions. EUROSPORT will be added onto DP's impressive resume
of TV network productions already including ESPN, MBC ESPN, XTM, XPORTS,
and CJ Media.
will be working closely with DP on TV production logistics for EUROSPORT.
Kozoom.com has had extensive experience creating video and TV work for
pocket and carom billiards. Kozoom.com also brought pool into the
limelight in Europe bringing EUROSPORT to the Euro-Tour to further
advance the growth of billiards in Europe.
"We are thrilled to be
working on this project and being a part of this great team with DP and
Predator. This event belongs on television and we are happy to give it a
more international flair." says JP Parmentier, co-owner of Kozoom.com.
Kozoom.com prior to May 17, will be airing matches live from May
Group, creators of Predator technology and the Poison Brand, will be the
key sponsor and supporter of this TV project. Predator, despite the
state of the US economy, has thrived and grown significantly each year,
giving it the ability to invest back into the sport. Predator time and
time again has proven to not only be the number one brand in cues, but
one of the premiere leaders in promotions and growth in the sport.
our flagship event. Dragon Promotions has raised this tournament from
infancy to where we are now in Las Vegas at the biggest pool show on
earth. And the field of pros attending is amazing. When we saw the
opportunity to bring in EUROSPORT, we didn't hesitate. " said Karim
Belhaj, CEO and Co-Owner of Predator Products.
Eurosport is the #1 Sports Network in Europe available
in 54 countries and broadcasting in 20 different languages
available for the first time at Predator International 10-Ball
Championship. Watch the pros play in style up high in the elite
Skybox area seating. In the past, these
seats were exclusive only to pro players,special guests and sponsors.
This year the Skybox seating will host the pro
players and sponsors as well as elite VIP ticket holders who
specifically purchase tickets just for the skybox
areas. Any remaining tickets can be purchased on site at the tickets
sales counter near the pro arena. Buy
now in advance at www.playbca.com.
The 8th Annual Predator International 10-Ball Championship is produced
by Dragon Promotions. The event is hosted by the BCA Pool Leagues at the
Riviera Hotel & Casino and sponsored by The Predator Group, Seyberts.com,
Diamond Billiard Products, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Delta-13 Rack,
and Extreme Focus Sports Drink. The event matches will be covered daily
For more info on event goto
our websites at
USA Office 1-407-782-4978
Korea Office +82-2-860-5680