Jonas Luz Triumphs in Thrilling Final to Claim 2023 Pan American Snooker Championship

Picture credit: World Snooker

In a thrilling showdown at the 2023 Pan American Snooker Championship, Jonas Luz secured victory over his compatriot Fabinho with a 5-4 score in the final, held at the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club.

This win, a significant achievement for the 37-year-old hailing from Esteio-RS, has earned him a nomination for a two-year professional World Snooker Tour card.

The event was organized by the Pan American Billiards and Snooker Association (PABSA), a member of the World Snooker Federation. It featured players from Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, and the host nation, Brazil. The participants were divided into eight round-robin groups of five, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout rounds.

Luz finished second in Group 8, winning three out of four matches, with his sole defeat coming against former professional Itaro Santos, who topped the group.

The eventual champion faced a nail-biting deciding frame in the round of 16, coming from behind to defeat Zico, a recent Pan American Seniors Championship finalist, with a score of 3-2. Luz then went on to secure a more comfortable 3-0 victory against Charlie Brown from Canada in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-finals, Luz narrowly defeated Rafinha in a deciding frame with a score of 4-3. On the other side of the draw, 41-year-old Fabinho dominated, winning his group without dropping a single frame and subsequently eliminating Ajeya Prabhakar from the USA with a 3-0 score in the round of 16.

Fabinho caused an upset in the quarter-finals by defeating the pre-tournament favorite, Igor Figueiredo, who was aiming for a double title in Rio, having won the Seniors category earlier in the week. Despite Figueiredo’s impressive 114 clearance in the opening frame of their quarter-final match, Fabinho claimed the next three frames for a memorable 3-1 win.

In the semi-finals, Fabinho continued his strong performance, defeating Daniel Holoyda from the USA with a 4-0 score, top-scoring with a break of 55. Holoyda had previously beaten Santos 3-0 in the previous round.

The title match, played over the best of nine frames, saw Fabinho take the opening two frames on the colors. However, Luz responded with a break of 48 in the third frame, leveling the score at 2-2 before the mid-session interval.

Fabinho regained the lead with a 47 break in the fifth frame, but Luz showcased his skills with a green-to-pink clearance, taking the lead for the first time. Both players displayed their talent with breaks of 40 in the sixth frame, bringing the score to a tie.

Luz pulled ahead with two frames to play, but Fabinho’s break of 54 in the eighth frame forced the match into a tense deciding frame.

In the final frame, while on a break of 43, Luz potted the third-to-last red, which would have left his opponent needing a snooker. However, he went in-off at the same time. With that red ball now off the table, Fabinho needed penalty points. His task became even more challenging when he fluked a red he didn’t intend to pot. Eventually, Luz sank the final red to secure the most significant accolade of his career to date and earn qualification to snooker’s professional circuit for the first time.

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