Seoa Holds off Hung to Win Alfa Las Vegas Open as World 10-Ball Set to Begin
Standing in the arena at the conclusion of the women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open, South Korea’s Seo Seoa didn’t hold the championship trophy as much as she cradled it.
“I am really happy,” she said. “This is my first champion title.”
The 21-year-old has reason to be excited, having endured a final two days of play that included taking down reigning World Women’s 9-Ball champion Chieh-Yu Chou in straight sets in the quarterfinals, then surviving the semifinals against Indonesia’s Silviana Lu. Seoa may have saved some of her best play for last, coming from behind to defeat Australia’s Meng-Hsia Hung in three sets at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino Monday night.
The Australian drew first blood in the opening set, taking advantage of a scratch and missed 1 ball by her opponent to build a 2-0 lead. The South Korean was able to climb onto the board in the third rack after her opponent scratched on the break but Hung stole the next game thanks to a successful jump shot on the 1 ball after a push out to increase the lead back to two games. Hung allowed Seoa to hang around tie the set when she fouled in the fifth game while attempting to tie up two object balls then missed a combination shot in the following rack but was able to use a sharp cut shot on the 2 ball and a table-length shot on the 3 ball to clear the table and secure the first set, 4-3.
“She played very good in the first set but I was thinking, it’s okay because it’s three sets,” said Seo. “I was thinking to try hard and stay focused.”
After Hung again won the opening rack in the second set, Seoa tacked on two wins of her own thanks to her opponent failing to land a ball on the break in the second game then leaving an opening after a safety attempt on the 8 ball in the following game. Hung tied the match at two games each after Seoa scratched but the South Korean capitalized on another misplayed safety and a missed 3 ball by her opponent to secure the set, 4-2, and tie the match.
“That’s the turning point,” said Hung of the missed shot. “I didn’t take my time to think about how to run out the table.”
The wheels really started to come off for Hung in the deciding set. After Seoa failed to pocket a ball on the break in the first rack, the Australian appeared to be in position to secure the win but missed the 5 ball in the corner pocket, allowing Seoa to return to the table and climb onto the scoreboard. Hung experienced a similar fate in the next rack when she missed the 6 ball and in the third game when she pushed the 2 ball wide of the mark. Each time, Seoa cleared the table and increased her lead.
“I lost a little bit of concentration and I wasn’t so sure,” said Hung. “And she played really well.”
Hung had one last chance in the fourth game but missed the 4 ball. With the object ball at one side of the table and the next shot at the opposite end, Seoa cleanly pocketed the ball and drew the cue ball backwards between the 6 and 7 balls for a shot on the 5 ball, then closed out the rack for the win and let out a joyous shriek in triumph.
Seoa reached the finals by taking advantage of a handful of safeties and unforced errors to edge past Yu in straight sets in the semifinals, 4-1, 4-2.
Hung had a bit more of a fight against Bulgaria’s Kristina Zlateva. After losing the opening set, 4-2, the Australian held a 3-1 advantage in the second set until her opponent snagged a win then used a table length one rail kick in of the 7 ball and a long cut of the 9 ball to tie the set. After Hung missed the 4 ball in the set-deciding game, Zlateva had an open table but overplayed position on the 5 ball. While she tried to pocket the object ball and hold cue ball positioning for a shot at the 6 ball that was at the same end of the table, the Bulgarian missed and handed her opponent the 4-3 win.
Hung was dominant in the deciding match, winning four straight racks to seal the victory and a spot in the championship game.
While the women completed the final day of their 64-player event, the men were preparing for the start of the WPA World 10-Ball Championships which are scheduled to begin Tuesday at 11 a.m. local time.
This 128-player event, which was won last year by Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk, will begin with 17 matches, including a battle of fellow Filipinos Roberto Gomez and Lee Vann Corteza. Other notable matches of the day include two-time Alfa Las Vegas Open champion Wiktor Zielinski taking on Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan and American Skyler Woodward facing 2019 World 10-Ball champion Ko Ping-Chung. Reigning World Pool champion Francisco Sanchez Ruiz will face Denmark’s Mickey Krause while Szewczyk meets Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alghamdi.
Matches can be watched on Billiard.TV and on World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International. A schedule of televised matches will be posted daily on the Pro Billiard Series and CSI Facebook and Instagram pages.
Brackets and scores can be found at