UPSET TRAIN ROLLS ON AT WORLD CUP OF POOL
Round 1 Results
Singapore 8 – 7 USA
Philippines A 8 – 2 Austria
Estonia 8 – 6 England
Thailand 8 – 4 Holland
Germany 8 – 0 Australia
Malaysia 8 – 6 France
India 8 – 7 Finland
Philippines B 8 – 4 Kuwait
Korea 8 – 5 Spain
Japan 8 – 3 Croatia
Switzerland 8 – 5 China
Sweden 8 – 7 Indonesia
BY LUKE RICHES
(MANILA)–TEAM USA, sporting the most garish pairs of strides this side of John Daly, were shocked out of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool as they went down to the wire with Singapore and came out second best at the SM Mall North in Manila.
Their exit followed on from the dismissal of England at the hands of Estonia, China by the Swiss and Holland by the Thais to leave the event wide open.
The American pair of Mike Dechaine and Corey Deuel looked the part in their outlandish costumes but soon found themselves in a fight as the Singaporeans took the game to them, as veteran Bernard Tey and Chan Keng Kwan were clearly not fazed by their more illustrious opponents.
The Singaporeans took a 5-1 lead which clearly sobered the Americans who duly put their heads down and won the next four games to leave the match poised at 5-5. They shared the next two to go 6-6 and the crowd were really enjoying the entertainment.
To add to the drama it went to hill-hill and Kang broke for the match. He nearly downed the 9 ball, but in the end it was partner Tey who did the business as another top seed tumbled out of the competition.
The PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool takes place at the Block Atrium at the SM Mall North in Quezon City, Manila. It features 32 two-player teams representing 31 nations – hosts Philippines have two sides. The total prize-fund is $250,000 with $60,000 going to the winning pair.
In the second match of the evening, Philippines A – Dennis Orcollo and Ronnie Alcano – joined Reyes and Bustamante in round two as they won eight racks on the spin to oust Austria.
It wasn’t exactly a dream draw for the Austrian pair of Jasmin Ouschan and Mario He, but they showed no nerves as they won the opening two racks to quiet down the crowd. However, that was to be it for them as Alcano and World No.1 Orcollo turned up the heat to sprint past them and book a round two spot against Malta or Canada.
Earlier in the day the upset train continued to barrel down the tracks. Estonia put a broad sword through England’s PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool hopes with a marvellous upset 8-6 victory at the SM Mall North in Quezon City, Manila. The dynamic duo of Dennis Grabe and Erki Erm looked a good bet as they matched their more storied opponents to record a fantastic win and move into the second round.
Chris Melling and Darren Appleton looked a little shell-shocked at the end as the Estonians punched the air in delight and gave it the big high five. But the English pair only had themselves to blame as they looked lack-lustre and made critical errors.
“At the beginning it was very hard with the pressure as we’d never played in front of such a big crowd but we didn’t have anything to lose,” said a jubilant Grabe.
“But we knew if we played well we could beat them. In a race to eight everyone has a chance. We didn’t expect to win and it was a surprise but we had been hoping.”
England had a great chance to win the match as they scrapped it out to take a 6-5 lead in the race to eight match. Appleton though, scratched and Grabe made a 3/9 combo to level and the Estonians took the lead when Melling sunk the cue ball in the next.
England looked set to level it but Melling left the cue ball short of position to leave his side snookered. They escaped but Grabe and Erm downed the remaining three balls for a famous victory.
“England is a very strong team but it was a very important match for us and this was our first time here,” said Erm.
“I think if we play well we can beat anybody as we made some mistakes but still won, but if we play perfectly we have a chance against everyone.”
In the other match of the afternoon session, Thailand upset the odds as they knocked Holland out of the competition by an 8-4 score line. With World 10 Ball Champion Huidji See at the helm, partnered by rising junior star Marco Teutscher, Holland was expected to make light work of the Thai pair of Nitiwat Kanjanasri & Kobkit Palajin.
At 5-0 down that was never going to happen as the Thai duo quietly went about their business. They had a stutter as the Dutch got the score back to 7-4 but that was to be it as Thailand made their way into the second round where they will meet Estonia.
Team Germany, comprised of Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann, looked mighty impressive in the first session of the day as they fired out a loud warning shot to their World Cup of Pool rivals as they completed an 8-0 whitewash – the first of the tournament – over the Australian pair of Greg Jenkins and Dave Rothall.
“Australia had pretty good chances in the first couple of racks and it should’ve been 2-0 to them but they handed us them and after that we controlled the match,” said Souquet.
“We ran three or four from the break and the match was history. It’s a really short format and one mistake could cost you three or four games.”
The Australians had few visits and when they did they struggled under the conditions. The Germans meanwhile had no such trouble as they calmly went about their business. Both players were coming in on the back of wins – Souquet the World Pool Masters here in Manila and Hohmann the World 14.1 in New York.
They will be certainly one of the teams to be beat here. Hohmann commented, “If I could pick any player in the world to be with then it would be Ralf. I’m coming off a big win last week and Ralf won the Masters so our confidence is very high.”
In the second match of the day, Malaysia earned themselves the dubious honour of a second round match with Germany as they laboured to a win over France. Patrick Ooi and Ibrahim Bin Amir are World Cup veterans and they will be delighted with their 8-6 win over Vincent Facquet and Stephan Cohen.
The 2011 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 Star Xing Pai and the Official Cue is Predator.
Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,100 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.