U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships
The U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships (often shortened in clear contexts to simply U.S. Open, and sometimes spelled with "US", "9-ball", "Nine-ball", etc.) is an annual professional pool (pocket billiards) tournament that began in 1976 at Q-Master Billiards in Norfolk, Virginia. Today, it is held in the Chesapeake Conference Center, Chesapeake, Virginia. Though it is staged in the United States and is labeled the "U.S. Open", male professional pool players from around the world are eligible to compete in this event in the Men's Division. Females must qualify for the Women's Division (held in various locations) under the Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) tour. The U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships is one of the most sought-after titles in nine-ball and in pool generally.
Darren Appleton of England is the current (2011) Men's Division title-holder. Mika Immonen of Finland is the 2009 Men's Division title-holder. Mika is also the 2008 Men's Division title-holder of the US$250,000 33rd Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, where 237 billiards players competed. Immonen claimed the 13–7 victory, and pocketed the first-place prize of $40,000 on October 26, 2008 against Filipino runner-up Ronato Alcano (2006 World Nine-ball Champion), who settled for $20,000. It marked Immonen's second consecutive U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion title, making him the most-winning non-U.S. competitor.[dated info]
Featured matches are recorded and broadcast by Billiard Club Network and Accu-Stats Video Productions on a designated table at the Chesapeake Conference Center with commentary provided by various pool veterans and industry members.
Traditionally, winners of the U.S. Open are given a green blazer in recognition for this championship title and are awarded free entry fees to all future U.S. Open tournaments.
In its first edition back in 1976, the US Open began with just 16 players. Over the years, the number of participants became as many as 256.
Today the larger Men's Division is a restrictive male-only event, though it is otherwise a true "open" tournament, in that the only requirement is the payment of the entry fee, which was $600 in 2008. The total purse for the tournament at that time was $200,000, where the winner was awarded $40,000.
Barry Behrman is the tournament promoter of the Men's Division, and has been since its inception.
The tournament's original venue was Q-Master Billiards pool room, located in Norfolk, Virginia, which hosted the event, other than one year, until 1988. Since 1997, the U.S. Open Men's Division is held at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Unlike the Men's Division, the U.S. Open for women is not a true "open" event. Each female player must qualify through the WPBA, the professional women's billiards tour based in the United States, in order to compete in this annual event. The Women's Division tournament is held in different locations each year.
The tournament format is essentially double-elimination (a player is out of the tournament after losing two matches) until two players remain. Most professional pool "double-elimination" events, however, are not true double-elimination formats, where the player who reaches the finals from the loser's side has to defeat the winner's side player twice for the title. At the U.S. Open, matches are played in races to 11, with the winner breaking. However, the final match, as is customary with most professional nine-ball tournaments today, is one extended race. At the US Open, the extended race in the finals is 13 games.
Year Winner 2011 Darren Appleton 2010 Darren Appleton 2009 Mika Immonen 2008 Mika Immonen 2007 Shane Van Boening 2006 John Schmidt 2005 Alex Pagulayan 2004 Gabe Owen 2003 Jeremy Jones 2002 Ralf Souquet 2001 Corey Deuel 2000 Earl Strickland 1999 Johnny Archer 1998 Buddy Hall 1997 Earl Strickland 1996 Rodney Morris 1995 Reed Pierce 1994 Efren Reyes 1993 Earl Strickland 1992 Tommy Kennedy 1991 Buddy Hall 1990 Nick Varner 1989 Nick Varner 1988 Mike Lebrón 1987 Earl Strickland 1986 David Howard AKA Squirrel 1985 Jimmy Reid 1984 Earl Strickland 1983 Mike Sigel 1982 David Howard 1981 Allen Hopkins 1980 Mike Sigel 1979 Louie Roberts 1978 Steve Mizerak 1977 Allen Hopkins 1976 Mike Sigel
- Earl Strickland of the US is the record-holder for winning the Men's US Open the most times: five (in 1984, 1987, 1993, 1997, and 2000).
- Shane Van Boening is the winner of the largest first-place prize ever offered at the event, $50,000, on October 20, 2007. Van Boening remained undefeated in the field of 233 players, beating Ronato Alcano 13–10 in the final.
- The oldest pool player to ever win the Men's Division to date is Mike Lebrón of Puerto Rico, 54 years old at the time of his victory. The youngest is Mike Sigel of the US, at 21.
Year Winner 1989 Ewa Laurance 1994 Jeanette Lee 2003 Karen Corr 2004 Ga-young Kim 2007 Allison Fisher 2008 Kelly Fisher 2009 Ga-young Kim 2010 Ga-young Kim
- ^ http://www.usopen9ballchampionships.com/history.php
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPkUrTA39oI
- ^ http://www.usopen9ballchampionships.com/history.php
- ^ insidepoolmag.com, Immonen is New U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion
- ^ gmanews.tv/story, RP's Alcano loses to Finn Immonen in US Open 9-ball final
- ^ billiardsdigest.com, Big Win for Finn: Immonen Clobbers Alcano to Break U.S. Open 'Curse'
- ^ BilliardClub.net Retrieved 21 October 2007
- ^ Accu-Stats.com Retrieved 21 October 2007
- ^ Barry Behrman (July 7, 2011). "Statement From Barry Behrman and Shannon Berhman Paschall-Exclusive to AZB". AzBilliards.com. http://www.azbilliards.com/2000storya.php?storynum=8892. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- ^ "History". USOpen9BallChampionships.com. Norfolk, VA: Q-Master Billiards. 2009. http://www.usopen9ballchampionships.com/2009+history.php. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- ^ "Contact". USOpen9BallChampionships.com. op. cit.. 2010. http://www.usopen9ballchampionships.com/contact.php. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- ^ USOpen9BallChampionships.com. Retrieved 21 October 2007
- ^ "US Open Down to Final Four", BilliardsDigest.com, October 20, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007
- ^ "Player biographies (Ewa Laurance)". WPBA.com. http://www.wpba.com/cms/?pid=1000998. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
- ^ "Player biographies (Jeanette Lee)". WPBA.com. http://www.wpba.com/cms/?pid=1000976. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
- ^ "Player biographies (Karen Corr)". WPBA.com. http://www.wpba.com/cms/?pid=1000923. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
- ^ a b c "Player biographies (Ga Young Kim)". WPBA.com. http://www.wpba.com/cms/?pid=1004615. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
- ^ "WPBA's Top 5". Billiards Digest (Chicago, Illinois: Luby Publishing) 30 (3): 55. February 2008. ISSN 0164-761X.
- ^ Cuetec Cues US Open, WPBA.com. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
- ^ "Player biographies (Kelly Fisher)". WPBA.com. http://www.wpba.com/cms/?pid=1005803. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
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