OLD STAGERS REYES AND BUSTAMANTE DELIGHT CROWD IN MANILA
Round 1 Results
Austria 8-2 Kuwait
Philippines 8-3 Hong Kong
Germany 8-1 Serbia
Thailand 8-4 Malaysia
Canada 8-7 Serbia
USA 8-7 India
By Luke Riches/Matchroom Sport
(Manila, Philippines)– DOUBLE PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool champions Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante (Philippines B) are on course for a third title as they disposed of Hong Kong hopes Lee Chenman and Kenny Kwok in front of a huge, enthusiastic crowd of locals at Robinsons Place in Manila.
The Hall of Famers have won this event twice before – in 2006 in Newport, Wales and in 2009amidst chaotic scenes Manila – and they never looked in any danger as they overwhelmed the opposition.
At ages 58 and 48 respectively, they may not quite be the players they once were but they will be very hard to beat in front of the vast crowds they attract in their home country and only a foolish man would back against them.
“We played good today,” said the veteran Reyes.
“If we play like that in our next match we can win. But our break is still no good but if we can get the break we like our chances.
Francisco Bustamante added, “We’re always nervous here. There’s always pressure. Everyone expects us to win.”
“Efren played really good today. He controlled the cue ball really well. When Efren controls the cue ball, there’s nobody who can beat him. But this is doubles, 9-ball, short races, so anyone can win. But if we can start breaking good, we got a good chance.”
By sharp contrast, the Austrian duo of Albin Ouschan (22) and Mario He (19) made light work of Middle Eastern minnows Kuwait and look to be a good outside bet for this championship.
Both are improving fast and while their future opponents will surely be a little weary, these two will fear no one.
Albin Ouschan said, “We’re young and playing good and having fun. That’s how you win a tournament like this. Just have fun.
“We’re the underdogs in most of these matches but we like being the underdogs because then we can play with nothing to lose.”
Mario He added, “We were a little nervous at the beginning but we went up 6-0 and we didn’t miss a shot. Then we noticed that they were more nervous.”
“We’ve got good harmony. We know each other well. We always go to tournaments together and practice together so we know each other’s games. We only practiced two hours together for this tournament but that’s not a problem.”
The day began with the defending champions Germany taking down Serbia, but not before the Germans had suffered nightmare preparations in the run up to the match. Souquet had contracted food poisoning on the eve of the tournament and it became so bad that he was rushed to the emergency room for an IV drip and medical treatment.
It was good enough for him to make the match and along with Hohmann, they did enough to get past the Serbs 8-1. Andrea Klasovic and Zoltan Svilar had chances but were not up to the German’s speed.
“I think Ralf played great. I made a few more decision making mistakes than him,” said Thorsten Hohmann.
“The big factor was the break. We still haven’t figured it out but we got lucky because when we left it open they missed a few times or they didn’t have a shot and had to play safe or kick. Then they would leave it open and of course once it’s open, it’s easy for us.”
Added Souquet: “The score makes it looks like it was an easy match but it wasn’t really.”
“We have a day a half to rest now which is good. I’m very weak. Except for a piece of dry toast this morning, I haven’t eaten anything since yesterday.”
In the second match of the first session, last year’s shock finalists Thailand took a while to hit their gear against Malaysia as they stood all square at 4-4, but took the final four racks to secure victory.
Nitiwat Kanjanasri & Kobkit Palajin had scored a succession of upsets at last year’s tournament to reach the final and this time round, perennial Malaysian contenders Patrick Ooi and Ibrahim bin Amir were no match for them. The Thais can now look forward to either England or Belgium.
The next session saw two thrilling matches as the action went down to the wire. First the Canadian team of transplanted Filipino Alex Pagulayan and John Morra snatched it out the bag against Sweden and the USA, trailing throughout against India reversed the arrears in the home stretch to steal the win.
It was Raj Hundal and Amar Kang who looked a steady ship as they came in as under dogs against their more titled opponents. They lead 1-0, 2-1, 4-2 and 5-4 before the US pair took stock of the situation and shot into a 6-5 lead.
Morris thought he had put his team on the hill with a golden break but looked crestfallen when the referee Nigel Rees ruled it a foul break when the requisite number of balls failed to cross the head string. Both sides had chances at the final 9 before Kang downed it to level things.
Both teams then had disastrous breaks; Van Boening delivered a dry one and India cleared, and then Kang downed two balls but the third didn’t play ball and the Americans took the rack for hill-hill.
India had a chance but in the end it was a missed 3 ball from Hundal that proved their undoing and the American pair won and now face Austria in the next round.
The 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 4 to Sunday, September 9 at Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila. Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions. Tickets for the extravaganza will be available at the venue on the day of play but with plentiful balconies offering superb views of the playing arena, organisers are anticipating crowds in the thousands rather than hundreds.
The Swedish pair of Marcus Chamat and Andreas Gerwen were similar victims as they succumbed at the final hurdle to Canada’s John Morra and Alex Pagulayan – the 2004 World Pool Champion.
The Swedes trailed 7-4 and looked in dire straits but clawed their way back and even included a Chamat golden break!
The 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 4 to Sunday, September 9 at Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila. Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions.
At 7-7 and breaking they were suddenly favourites but the rack descended into a safety battle before the Canadians found a way through and ran out for victory. They will now play Philippines B or Hong Kong.
The 2012 PARTYPOKER.NET World Cup of Pool is sponsored by PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Diamond Billiards and the Official Cue is Predator.
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