Youth meets Experience into the Final Stages of the Diamond Las Vegas Open 
The future of billiards was on display Friday afternoon at the Diamond Las Vegas Open when Russia’s Kristina Tkach met French World Cup of Pool representative Fabio Rizzi.
The two young Europeans traded racks and momentum but a timely jump shot in the late stages of the match allowed the Frenchman to best Tkach, 7-5, in a one-loss side matchup at the Rio Hotel and Casino. After playing virtually even throughout the first half of the set, Rizzi was able to establish momentum in the eighth game with a timely jump shot. After sinking a ball on the break, Rizzi found the 4-ball blocking the cue ball’s path to the 2-ball. The Frenchman grabbed his Predator Air2 jump cue and executed a jumping cut shot – pocketing the object ball in the opposite corner and establishing position on the 3-ball. Rizzi added another rack to the win column when he pocketed the 9-ball on the break in the 11th game, then closed out the final rack after a missed shot by Tkach on the 4-ball.A few hours later, Chinese Taipei’s Chang Jung Lin squared off against Germany’s Joshua Filler. On paper, the resumes of the two competitors were practically even, with Filler winning this year’s United States Open 9-ball Championship while Chang won last year’s International 9-Ball Open. The results were anything but, as Lin used pinpoint accuracy to run racks and capitalized on a pair of Filler dry breaks to build a 5-0 lead and coast to a 7-1 win.As Lin was cruising to an easy victory, a large crowd had grown at a nearby table to watch the five-time U.S. Open champion Shane Van Boening face off against Florida’s Donny Mills. The two competitors played virtually even going into the final games until Van Boening made an uncharacteristic scratch that allowed Mills to tie the match at 6 games each and send it to a deciding 13th game.Mills momentum was short-lived as Van Boening broke in the final game and closed out the match to advance.The late evening matches were highlighted with a pair of former Mosconi Cup competitors meeting as Albania’s Eklent Kaçi met Corey Deuel. Kaçi started off the match by pocketing four balls on his opening break and used some effective safety play to take control, ultimately defeating Deuel 7-0.  Competition in the Diamond Las Vegas Open concludes today, with the semifinals scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. pacific time and the championship match slated for 10 p.m. The Diamond Las Vegas Open is a presentation of Cue Sports International and is the first half of a professional pool double-header in Las Vegas these next two weeks. Next week, 64 of the pool’s best will compete at the $100,000 added Predator World 10-Ball Championships which begin Monday at the Rio. Both events are being broadcast live by CSI for free on YouTube. For more information on the tournament or for links to live YouTube streaming, please visit

Final Stages Diamond Las Vegas Open