Spanish Open, June 2023, from Matchroom


Older and Wiser
Silver Member
Me too. How long has it been since any American player other than SVB has won a major event held outside the US against a top notch field?
Unless you count World Cup of Pool winners who played as SVB's teammate, you might have to go back to 2002 when Earl Strickland won the World 9-ball Championship in Cardiff, Wales. Corey Deuel won the All-Japan, which was definitely a major, around the same time.
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Off and running and on the very first shot of the first semifinal, I already didn't like what I saw. Labutis opted to apologize for a golden break. Yes, nobody can do one on command, much as no golfer can make a hole in one on command, but in each case, it's an occasional consequence of a good shot.

In pro golf, the hole in one is celebrated wildly, even at match play, and it helps sell pro golf as fans love holes-in-one. Pro pool fans love golden breaks, too, and players should get excited about them because it helps sell the game.

Perhaps we're heading to where players apologize for making anything but the one or a wing ball on the break.

On the positive side, the outstanding arena announcer aced the introductions.
I agree that players shouldn't feel the need to apologize for golden breaks, but it might be worth noting that holes-in-one are many orders of magnitude more rare than golden breaks.

Additionally, pool is usually 1-v-1 while professional golf is usually not, which I think makes sportsmanship a bit more important and more akin to a tennis player holding their arm up in apology for benefitting from a dead net cord.

Put another way, if you hit a hole-in-one in a tournament, that impacts your playing partner's chances of winning no more or less than every other player in the field. In a pool tourney, a golden break is bad for your opponent that round and your opponent alone (unless you want to get really meta).

I would also hope no casual pool fan who loves golden breaks is turned off by apologizing vs. celebrating. The rare(ish) achievement is the thing, not the reaction to it.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dang Jin Hu won every match played, including twice over Skyler Woodward... I never heard about him before. Did he used to play before?

yes, pre-pandemic. he's 37 so has been around for a while. had a runner up in a major just before covid. i had forgotten about him, much like kevin cheng (where is that guy btw?).

kudos to matchroom, this was a good one. they tend to have these open events in fairly small cities and crowd attendance is sometimes lacking, but this was a success in that regard. the fans were even singing some tune, and the players were engaging with the crowd too.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
With the World Cup beginning tomorrow, this will be the first time that a 30 day DAZN subscription will enable be to view 2 major pool events in their entirety.

That said, I'm glad that I remembered to cancel my membership immediately after signing up, because otherwise I would've been stuck with an automatic renewal. DAZN has cleaned up its act in terms of streaming quality, but in other ways they remind me of a company you'd see advertising on some low rent cable network.