Defending Champion Immonen Falls
U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships / Chesapeake, VA

by Lea Andrews

With the action still going strong on day two of the 34th Annual U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, which is being held October 18-24 at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, VA, many big names remain undefeated after two rounds of play, while others have become early victims. All 216 players remain in the field, though elimination rounds begin Tuesday morning.

Still on the winners’ side is past champion Ralf Souquet, who notched up an 11-1 win over EJ Glode and an 11-4 win over Thomas Giddens. After shutting out Pat DiBuono, Steve Moore rolled over Stefano Ariavakis 11-1. Spain’s David Alcaide was almost as stingy with the 9 balls in his first two matches—he rode an 11-1 win over Scott Hershman to an 11-3 victory over Kaloyan Rusanov.

Bartram handed Immonen his first loss in his title defense.

Bartram handed Immonen his first loss in his title defense.

View the U.S. Open 9-Ball Double Elimination Tournament Brackets 1 (updated continuously)

View the U.S. Open 9-Ball Double Elimination Tournament Brackets 2 (updated continuously)

View the 2009 U.S. Open image gallery


Defending champion Mika Immonen, who held Jerry Fitchett to six games in round one, will have to defend his crown from the left side of the bracket after running into a determined Chris Bartram in round two. Bartram got out ahead 2-0, 3-1, and 7-3, but Immonen managed to tie it up at eight games apiece. Talent and luck were both on Bartram’s side in the final racks, and he took racks seventeen and eighteen with a 2-9 combination and a 1-9 combination, respectively, and though Immonen claimed rack nineteen after Bartram left a safety on the 2 ball open, he couldn’t close rack twenty, which turned into a safety battle after Immonen missed position on the 6 ball. It was Bartram who came out on top, making a difficult shot on the 6 to earn the right to face Alcaide 11-9. Another fallen hero is 2004 U.S. Open champion Gabe Owen, who fell 11-9 to Abdullah Alyousef after being up 4-1. Runner-up that year, Thorsten “The Hitman” Hohmann also suffered a second-round loss to Jason Klatt 11-9. After falling 11-6 to Robb Saez, 2006 U.S. Open champion John Schmidt will face Don Steele on Wednesday, while Oliver Ortman , who fell 11-9 to Keith Bennett, will face Thorsten Hohmann, who managed just nine games himself against Jason Klatt.

Second round winners’ matches still to come are Jonathan “Hennessee” Pinegar versus Charlie Bryant, Tony Chohan versus Jose Parica, Darren Appleton versus Zaid Thweib, and Shane Van Boening versus Marvin Davis.

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