Monday, August 1st, 2022 – Aloysius Yapp, from Singapore, is a player in pool that I believe has gone under the radar. From my perspective, he is up there with Joshua Filler, Shane Van Boening, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Dennis Orcollo, and so many other top-world-ranked players. Currently, he is ranked world #7 and is a former world #1, so, at just age 26, he has already achieved an impressive pool resume.
Yapp is a very cool, easygoing, and easy-to-talk-to; he was just eight years old when he first played pocket billiards and a friend that I've known on Facebook for a while now. He has allowed me to interview him on Facebook Messenger and through Zoom, which Kathryn Brown Day (editor of Sneaky Pete Mafia magazine) had set up for us. Kathryn and I were able to catch up with Aloysius just after he defeated Carlo Biado to win the Bronze medal in The World Games, held recently at Birmingham, Alabama – Joshua Filler having won the Gold medal. So, Yapp overcame Biado, who had beat him in the US Open just last year in the finals of the event. Yapp had beaten both Filler and Shane Van Boening convincingly prior to the loss to Biado in the finals in the US Open 2021.
Yapp gave a detailed account of his introduction to pool at about age 8, "I would normally watch sports. I wasn't too much of a cartoon guy when I was young. I normally watch sports. I was very interested in soccer back then. I was like, flipping channels, and then I saw this match on the TV. I'm like, what's this game? It looks interesting, so I asked my grandmother what it is, then she told me, 'this is pool,' then I'm like, 'oh, that's interesting.' Then, I just watched the whole thing. I still remember who it was: Tony Robles playing Santos Sambajon; I think it was the BCA Open? It was really long ago, so that was the first match I ever watched in my life. Then somehow, I just wanted to play the game, so at night when my mom came home from work, I asked her, can you bring me to play this game? She's like, I can't because it's in Singapore if you're under 16 you can't go to the pool hall, so instead, she went to find like a billiard shop or someone that knows how to bring me into something like a pool hall to learn, that's when I first met my first coach, so I started learning at the billiard shop back then." – Yapp said; that was at "theQshop" back in Singapore.
Interview with Aloysius Yapp after the World Games 2022 with SPM TV's Kat Day and
Yapp was adjusting to a new cue he had only a week when he just won the Bronze against the current US Open Champion. That, to me, is incredible because a lot of times, players have told me that they took about a month to adjust to the deflection of a new cue. But Yapp? He adjusted to his new cue from his sponsor, Mezz Cues, while in the tournament, and from what he has said, it seems like he loves his new cue. He said he can adjust the weight custom and even the balance point on the cue, and he said he likes a 20oz cue with a forward balance on it. Yapp showed Kathryn and me his new Mezz cue during the course of our interview with him from his room, still at the campus of the World Games, Birmingham. He said he still has every cue they've sponsored him with.
Toh Lian Han is Yapp's mentor and has been instructing Yapp in many aspects of pocket billiards since Yapp was 14 years old, noticing him early as a young talent in the game. Toh Lian Han is the architect behind Yapp's game, mental strength, and pool philosophy – the two having played all the way to the finals together of the World Cup, a two-man team event that Spain just recently won this year:
"June 19th, 2022 – Spain have won the 2022 World Cup of Pool, beating Singapore in the final 11-6 at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Singtel in Singapore. Matchroom Live in territories without a broadcaster." – https://matchroompool.com/news/spain-clinch-2022-world-cup-of-pool-title/
Lian Han and Yapp had played well throughout the World Cup. Lian Han is 50, nearly twice Yapp's age, which is to show that pool can be played at a high level at any age. Suffice it to say, Toh Lian Han has been an instrumental ingredient in the recipe for Aloysius Yapp's pool game.
Of his recent run, resulting in a Bronze medal against Biado, Yapp told us, "In the first match against Matt Edwards from New Zealand, I played pretty strong. To be honest, coming into this tournament, I wasn’t looking forward to too much; I just wanted to come here and have fun because I just switched to a new Cue last week.”
"In my first match, I played pretty strong. I didn't make many mistakes. And it was just me, trying to understand my cue better. I was quite lucky; he gave me a few chances. So, I won pretty far. Yeah, 11-3. We played once before in China. He beat me pretty bad. So, I was quite lucky that I won this time. And after that, I played Francisco. And we had a really amazing match. We really played well. There weren't many mistakes made. He made just one crucial mistake when the scores were tied at 7. That was the one that gave me the chance to pull the lead. ("You won 11-7 in that match in the quarter-finals against Ruiz?" Kathryn asks.) Yeah," said Yapp.
After that, Yapp explains how he went to 7-7 in the semi-finals but felt as though his opponent got a few lucky rolls, as is the case with 9-ball a lot of times.
"...And then he kicks and makes it, with great position on the next shot…At 7-7, I played a horrible safety…my last chance came at 10-7, and I can't remember what happened…Oh! I think he missed, and I had to play a safe. And I played a horrible safe again, so," Yapp tells us of his Semifinals match against Sanjin PEHLIVANOVIC. So, he had a letdown in his safety play against Sanjin and a little luck with the roles going PEHLIVANOVIC's way, and he plays Filler instead of Yapp for the Gold.
"After that, I had less than an hour to prepare for the placing (match) with Biado. I didn't do much. I just went back to my room and made a coffee, and then I just drank it. And I went back down to warm up, so yeah…Then, playing against Carlo, I think the last three times he won, so I was just hoping to win this time, yeah. He didn't really start off good. So, I had a really good start, but I let a few chances slip. And then, he tied it. I can't remember. I think it was 5-5. It was tied until 7-7 or something like that…We really didn't give each other much chances too." –Yapp concludes his match with Biado. He ultimately won the Bronze.
Yapp describes the point in the match where the momentum shifted his way, "...He left himself a bit tough on the six ball…but he left me with a long, table-length bank, and I made it. And then, the next rack, he broke dry, and I ran out. So, that was when I pulled the lead for the second time."
Also, from a recent win in his home country – Yapp's Facebook post from two days ago, "Won this year's National 10 Ball Championships. Been a while since I last played a national tournament back home. So grateful to win it. I would like to thank my family, friends, and fans for the support! I would also like to thank my sponsors, Mezz Cues, ZAN TIP, CPBA Cloth, theQshop, Mak’s family, TE Capital, Cuesports Singapore, and Sports Singapore for the continuous support! Up next for me is the European Open by Matchroom Pool! It's gonna be a really fun event. Hope to do my best!" – Yapp said, having won 10-6 to Chan Keng Kwang
Overall, we at SPM appreciate Aloysius Yapp for taking the time to do an interview with us. He has a great game, and I'm sure we will see him in the winner's circle for many years to come. He has also yet to win a major world event but has been placing in the top tier of events for a while now, and I believe we will be reporting more on his continued success soon. Tallahassee Squirrel is out for now.