Down to the Final 32 of the World Pool Masters: Day 1-2 Highlights -NYC Grind
Kuo Po-Cheng of Taiwan came through to the Final 32 in the Masters. (Photo by John Yee)
MORE STARS TUMBLE FROM THE MASTERS IN VEGAS
By NYC Grind Contributor, Geoff Conway
The 2010 PartyPoker.netWorld Pool Masters is now down to the last 32 players at the end of day two, and as in the first day, there were some unexpected shocks along the way. This final 32 players will meet up same time, same place on Friday, but with a single elimination format which will thin the field once again… and this time if you lose, you’re out of there.
It is the widespread opinion that this year’s Masters 64-man field is absolutely chock a block with everyone who is anyone in the world of professional pool, but after two days of grueling tournament play the cream did not automatically rise to the top… with massive surprises coming left, right, and center.
The the field was divided into 8 groups from the start of the event, and the Group 5 winners on the winner’s side were defending champion Darren Appleton, who took out the Asian pairing of Yu-Ram Cha and then Ricky Yang… the other winner was Marcus Chamat, who finished Manny Chau’s progress in the event, then had a great hill hill match against Dennis Orcollo to seal his spot in Fridays last 32.
Darren Appleton (Photo by John Yee)
Group 6 was a good one for Team USA with “Mr. 400″ John Schmidt and Rodney Morris getting through on the winner’s side. John played well getting through a nail-biting hill-hill match with Lee Van Corteza (Philippines). Morris beat the young Scott Jayson Shaw and his fellow American Johnny Archer to get through to Friday’s play. Both Jayson and Johnny went through on the loser’s side, and Jayson really impressed with his win over Corteza.
In Group 7, Stevie Moore seemed to be able to see through his long hair that is his new look, enough at least to beat the UK pairing of Tony Drago and Imran Majid to get through on the winner’s side. Germany’s Thomas Engert, who we do not see internationally as much these days, was the other winner’s side player to get through, beating Charlie Williams in a hill-hill finish.
Stevie Moore (Photo by John Yee)
Charlie Williams came back to get through on the loser’s side by beating Majid 9-3, and was joined by Toru Kuribayashi, who ended Tony Drago’s run in the event. Tony, a former Masters Champion, was visibly upset at his loss, and even a late rally at his usual break neck speed was a little too late this time around.
Group 8 was packed with star players, but someone was going to have to leave the party at the end of the day. Karl Boyes, who recently took the title of World 8-Ball Champion, beat both Ernesto Dominguez and the stoic Ralf Souquet to get through on the winner’s side. Karl was joined in the winner’s circle by a new name to us, the Taiwanese player Lo Li-Wen, who surprisingly beat Mika Immonen, then Karen Corr.
Ralf soon rebounded from his loss to Mr. Boyes when he clinically took down Mika, making only the second shutout (9-0) of the tournament. Mika was visibly stunned by Ralf’s breaking power as he regularly made 2 and 3 balls on the break, and in Rack 4, Ralf potted 4 balls on the break! (I want whatever Wheaties he is having for breakfast.) Mika’s comment to me as he staggered out of the arena was, “I don’t know why I even showed up. I wasn’t even in the match.” He then wandered off… looking for a therapist and a breaking coach!
The tight pockets on the Brunswick tournament table did not seem to matter to Ralf as he ran six racks during the match. Ernesto Dominguez also got through on the loser’s side, at least getting one of the family duo through to Friday’s play, taking down Karen Corr 9-3, with some impressive safety play. (He sure can control whitey!)
Karen Corr was one of a handful of women competing in the Masters field (Photo by John Yee)
The last 32 matches are single elimination race to 9 and matches start at 12 noon on Friday.* Click here to view the final elimination bracket on AZbilliards.com. * After 17 years as a 16-player invitational competition, the Masters, one of the longest established tournaments in pool, is now a 64 player event and takes place over five days instead of three.
Matchroom Sports goal is to build this event into an even bigger event next year, with a field of 128 and eventually build this event into the biggest pool extravaganza in the world. With there experience and track record I really believe that the will make this happen.
Stay on the NYC Grind for more updates daily from the World Pool Masters and all of the events going on at the Riviera in Las Vegas.
Read on for highlights from Day 1’s action on Wednesday…
The two players on the winner’s side in group 1 were Raj Hundal (India) and Rafael Martinez (Mexico) who were on fire. Raj beat Ga-Young Kim (Korea) with a lopsided score of 9-1, and then took down Jason Klatt (Canada) . Martinez soon dispensed of Dave Grau from New York, and then stepped over Evgeni Novosad (Ukraine) to get into the money and a place in the last 32 on Friday. Martinez was the last man to qualify for the event, winning the last event held at Pool Sharks in Las Vegas on Tuesday of this week.
On the one loss side in group 1 young Evgeni Novosad went through, and the Canadian qualifier Jason Klatt went through. Jason beat Shane 9-5 to end his very short run in this event, which was a big surprise.
All of the matches throughout the event are race to 9, winner breaks, and three balls have to go past the head string. Oh,and the 9-ball gets racked on the spot. The event itself takes place at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
In group 2 we witnessed Roberto Gomez (Philippines) firing on all cylinders, when he beat Earl Strickland, and then Huijdi See (Holland) to find his way to Fridays last 32. Mr See redeemed himself with wins over Allison Fisher and Niels Feijen (Holland) to make it to Fridays play. Allison Fisher in her second match beat Oscar Dominguez 9-3 and had him 8-1 at one point to end his run in the tournament…
Niels also picked himself up and beat Ko Pin Yi to get through on the losers side to play on Friday. Kuo PO-Chang the 2005 World Pool Champion runner up beat Oscar Dominguez and fellow countryman Ko Pin-Yi to secure the other winners spot.
Dennis Hatch had wins over Tron Engebaak from Norway 9-1 and Canada’s*John Morra, whereas Thorsten took down Radoslaw Babica (Poland) 9-8 in a really close match, which could have gone either way. Next he outsmarted Efren Reyes (Philippines) 9-6. It should be mentioned that Efren never looked comfortable at the table and it really showed in the resulting score line.
On the loser’s side, Canada’s*John Morra beat Radoslaw Babica, while 2007 World 9-Ball Champion Daryl Peach sent Efren crashing out of the competition
In the opening round of Group 4, Canadian Tyler Edey had a 9-4 upset over 2-time US Open runner-up Ronnie Alcano. But in the next round, Edey was sent to the left side by*Do-Hoang*Quan (who qualified for this event in Malaysia) who had previously beaten Francisco Bustamante hill-hill. *His win over Edey secured him a spot in Friday’s final single elimination chart.
Naoyuki*Oi also surprised Mark Gray from England, a notable player on the Euro Tour and the GB9 Tour, beating him 9-6, and then walked over Oliver Ortmann to secure his spot in Friday’s play.
Oliver soon got over his loss to Oi, and knocked Bustamante out of the event, and Mark Gray looked much more on-point, and saw him take out Tyler Edey 9-5, also putting him in the final 32 to play on Friday.