Marc Bijsterbosch 5
-3 Mieszko Fortunski

Denis Grabe 3-5 Marc Bijsterbosch
Alex Kazakis 0-5 Mieszko Fortunski

Marc Bijsterbosch snapped off the final spot in Predator Championship League Pool Winners’ Group by beating Mieszko Fortunski 5-3 in the Group 7 final at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.

Bijsterbosch will join Chris Melling, Eklent Kaci, David Alcaide, Niels Feijen, Naoyuki Oi and Albin Ouschan in Winners’ Group which begins at 12 noon (UK time) on Monday, battling it out to be crowned inaugural Predator Championship League Pool champion.

Fortunski, having whitewashed Alex Kazakis 5-0 in his semi-final, took the first rack of the final, which went according to break until the fifth. At that point Bijsterbosch, a 5-3 semi-final winner against Denis Grabe, came out on top in a safety battle to lead 3-2. Breaking in the sixth, Bijsterbosch ran out to reach the hill.

Poland’s Fortunski, who began in this event in Group 2, ran out the next rack to halve his deficit. But Bijsterbosch broke powerfully and left himself with a roadmap to victory in the eighth. With three balls down off the break the Dutchman was six shots from Winners’ Group but he under hit position to the 4. However, he recovered well and completed the rack for a place in tomorrow’s tournament finale.

“It feels amazing to win the final group,” said Bijsterbosch. “I started the group with two wins but I lost my third match 5-4 and everyone had won two games, so I felt some pressure.

“The final was tough. I played five games straight but I felt I was in my game and I managed to win, so I am very happy for that. It was very intensive and I didn’t play a lot last year but I did well. There are two Dutchmen in the last seven, so let’s see how we do.”

With Winners’ Group set to begin tomorrow, all remaining Group 7 players are now eliminated from the event, including Fortunski who ends with total prize money of $5,200.

Predator Championship League Pool has a prize fund of $85,950. Every day features a seven-player group, with each player facing every other player once in a race-to-5. At the end of the group the top four advance to the play-offs, playing a semi-final and then final, also played as race-to-5. Play-off champions will advance to the big-money Winners’ Group on March 29, which will provide the showpiece conclusion of Predator Championship League Pool.

Players who finished bottom of each group are eliminated from the event, while the remaining five players in each group will continue to the next day’s play, where two new players enter the tournament.

Action from Table 1 of Predator Championship League Pool can be seen live on FreeSports (UK & Ireland), DAZN and (China). Viewers elsewhere in the world can tune in at Matchroom.Live, which also carries global coverage of Table 2.

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