Mosconi Cup Europe Wins

9th December

USA Take Early Lead as Cup Hots Up

USA 2 – 1 Europe

USA 5 – 6 Europe

Hatch/Morris 6 – 4 Souquet/Van den Berg

Corey Deuel 6 – 4 Mika Immonen

Corey Deuel

TEAM AMERICA took the early lead at the 2010 PartyCasino.com Mosconi Cup as Corey Deuel and earlier Dennis Hatch and Rodney Morris gave them two points after Europe had won the earlier team match.

It was solid start from Nick Varner’s men but with only three of the four scheduled matches played, due to the length of the opening match, there is everything to play for.

It was an excellent win for Deuel over Mika Immonen as he had trailed 3-0 and with a big first day crowd getting increasingly exuberant, he did well to take the match 6-4.

Earlier, Europe got off to the perfect start as they inflicted a come-from-behind win over the Americans to draw first blood at the 2010 Partycasino.com Mosconi Cup. It was the opening five man team match and America  looked favourites for the point with a 5-4 lead but with two balls left on the table, Dennis Hatch left Rodney Morris hooked behind the 9 ball and the Hawaiian failed to make contact. With ball in hand the Europeans levelled it.

Having lead 4-2 this was a great chance for Europe and it was Karl Boyes who made the critical shot after Souquet had left him with a tough one on the green six. He made it rail first to set Europe up for a 6-5 victory, with Mika Immonen downing the final 9.

“When they announced Team Europe I walked up the stairs and nearly fell over. But the atmosphere and to win a point like that is absolutely awesome,” said Boyes.

“There was definitely pressure on the final 9-ball and you don’t want to take anything for granted. I felt like we came from nowhere as they had it all in their hands but then that one shot from Dennis Hatch put them in the dark,” added Immonen.

Hatch recovered from his gaffe in the second match as he and Morris looked the business as they overcame Nick Van den Berg and an out-of-sorts Ralf Souquet to level the score at 1-1.

The American pair were clearly enjoying every minute of it as they moved into a convincing 5-0 lead. That lead began to evaporate as the European pair clawed back the racks assisted by a bit of luck. They reduced the deficit to 4-5 before a failed cross table bank by Van den Berg let the Americans in and they ran out for the win.

“It was great to win coming off a loss and you have to show a lot of heart. But as I’ve said we’ve got more heart and we’re going to show it, “said Morris.

“I like the crowd and it’s a different atmosphere to last year as they’re not for us but against us. I can’t be as emotional as I was in Las Vegas but I’m still not going to sink back into my chair. I’m still going to try to get my team riled up,” added Hatch.


10th December

USA Maintain Lead but Only Just

USA 4 – 3 Europe

Archer/Van Boening 3 – 6 Appleton/Boyes

Johnny Archer 6 – 5 Ralf Souquet

Deuel/Morris 5 – 6 Appleton/Souquet

Shane Van Boeing 6 – 5 Nick Van den Berg

Team Europe

IT WAS all square in the Friday night session of the 2010 PartyCasino.com Mosconi Cup as both teams scored two points apiece. That leaves the USA just a single point ahead and the feeling is that this year’s event will go down to the wire.

Three of the four matches were decided by the single rack as if to emphasise the closeness of the competition. The final match was a high-quality encounter which saw Shane Van Boening edge past Nick van den Berg in a match that either player could have won.

It all came down to the final rack when Van den Berg got to the table but was forced to play safe after a poor positional shot. Van Boening blasted the cue ball across the table and managed to fluke the two into the middle pocket. One pot and a 3/9 combination and it was all over and America went to bed as Mosconi Cup leaders.

In the barn-storming show-opener, Dynamite Darren Appleton and Karl Boyes raised the roof of the York Hall as they overcame Johnny Archer and Shane Van Boening to level the overall score at 2-2.

6-3 was the score and it was a match full of nerves, atmosphere, misses and some brave shot-making – mainly from Darren Appleton. His match-winning shot was indicative of his play in general as he slam-banked the 9 ball back up table.

Boyes enjoyed some traditional Mosconi Cup banter with Dennis Hatch who was sitting in the stands and at times the crowd got over-exuberant but it was a typical York Hall Mosconi Cup match of days gone by.

Boyes who made his fair share of mistakes, including a 9 ball to win the match was honest in his assessment; “That shot was down to nerves. With some of the balls I missed my mindset was not right but for that 9-ball I thought this place will go crazy instead of focusing on the shot, but it’s all a learning curve.”

Appleton was delighted with his form, “I’ve been playing really well for the last couple of months. Last year I didn’t win a point. But here the crowd is amazing and a major help. I like to play in teams with Karl and he’s a good friend and has been for 15 years so this is a dream. We knew we were a great team so to get a point on board for the guys is amazing.”

In the next match, the captains’ pick where the respective skippers select their opponents’ players, it was Johnny Archer and Ralf Souquet who took to the arena. Presumably, both players were there for their shakier performance on day one but it turned out to be another thriller.

Archer took a big 4-0 lead as Souquet looked once again out of sorts, but ‘the Kaiser’ found some form out of nowhere and before long the score was 5-4 in the German’s favour as Archer looked shell-shocked.

The miracle comeback was not to be though as the Scorpion took the next two racks to restore the USA’s one point lead.

“Ralf is one of the best players in the world so it didn’t surprise me that he came back. I didn’t do that much wrong or make too many mistakes but he just played well and did what he does to put himself in a position to win,” said Archer.

“It’s hard out there and just different to normal. I would like it a lot more if the crowd was on my side but they’re there for their team and having a good time so I can’t say anything bad about it.

“But the crowd boo me during the match but after it’s over they give me respect and that makes me feel better. You know it’s not just you, they’re just rooting for their team.”

There was another towering performance for Yorkshire’s Darren Appleton in the third match of the evening as he and Ralf Souquet nicked a point from Rodney Morris and Corey Deuel to once again level things.

Appleton who has a miserable time of it last year in his Mosconi Cup debut in Las Vegas, is fast becoming the heart and soul of the American side as he came with the critical shots at the right moments.

The win was also a terrific boost for Souquet who had been on the wrong end of two narrow score lines and looked to be short on confidence.

In a nip and tuck affair, the USA reached the hill first and breaking for the match, Deuel delivered a good one. Their visit came undone though as Deuel played an inexplicable shot and massively overran the cue ball. Morris’s attempt at a safety left everything on for Europe and they took what was a thrilling match to the hill.

In the final break of the match, Appleton delivered a pearler as three balls dropped and there was a clear shot on the two ball. They completed the run out for the win and Appleton danced with delight, even planting a kiss on Souquet’s cheek.

11th December

Boyes Buoyant in Bethnal Green

USA 5 – 5 Europe

Hatch/Archer 1 – 5 Immonen/Boyes

Archer/Deuel 5 – 2 Immonen/Souquet

Rodney Morris 2 – 5 Karl Boyes

Karl Boyes

KARL BOYES was the man at the Partycasino.com Mosconi Cup on Saturday afternoon as he got Europe on level terms twice; first with a 5-1 win in the company of Mika Immonen over Dennis Hatch and Johnny Archer and then a 5-2 victory over Rodney Morris in the singles.

That made the overall score a finely-poised 5-5 as the action moves into the Saturday evening session. Boyes was clearly motivated by Dennis Hatch’s earlier claims that he was the weak link in the European line-up.

“It’s unbelievable. That’s for Dennis Hatch. If he’s about or listening, that’s for you, pal!

“I was in the practise room and watched the match before where Mika and Ralf had some bad rolls but I just tried to block everything out in my match.

“The team is playing well, it’s only 5-5 and we’re fighting. The crowd are behind us so let’s kick on from here now.

“Everyone is shouting for us and that makes you feel alive. We’re relaxed and having a good laugh!” he added.

Boyes, in the company of Mika Immonen, helped Europe level things in the opening match of the session, beating Hatch and Archer 5-1.

With the races reduced from six to five due to time constraints, the pressure was even more intense for the players. Add to that the full-to-the-rafters crowd and the scene was set for a test of nerves.

It was the Europeans who won that particular battle as the Americans, particularly Hatch, struggled.

Boyes and Immonen were flawless though and they ran out easy 5 – 1 winners to make it 4-4.

“It’s a good win and there was a lot of pressure on us as we didn’t want to go 5-3 down. But obviously we played really well and the crowd was different class,” said Boyes.

“Practising on the table upstairs it’s getting battered so every time you have to hit hard but out here you just have to play a bit softer.

“This is the first time I’ve played at the York Hall and when you walk down the stairs into the arena, the atmosphere is so good you think you’ll fall down the stairs,” he added.

“Mika believes in me as do all the team and we have a great spirit so let’s hope we can win it.”

Archer had the opportunity to redeem himself in the second match and he enjoyed some huge slices of luck as he and his partner Corey Deuel beat Souquet and Immonen 5 – 2.

“We’re keeping the pressure on them and just played solidly so we will just keep the heat on them.”I remember when I was the rookie and it’s a shock. I know Dennis has said Karl Boyes (who will be playing next) would be the weak link but I think he’s a good player. But Rodney is playing great so Karl will have a tough match.”

“I was very lucky and missed a couple of shots. We had a few rolls that went against us yesterday but got lucky today,” said Archer.

“I would rather be seven up but leading is much better than losing. But this is going to be a dog fight and I expect it to go to the end.”

It was Boyes though who dented those hopes in the final match of the session as he beat Rodney Morris against the odds. That made it three wins from three matches for Boyes.

Europe Charge Ahead

USA 8 – 6 Europe

Hatch/Van Boening 5 – 4 Appleton/Van den Berg

Archer/Morris 4 – 5 Boyes/Souquet

Dennis Hatch 4 – 5 Darren Appleton

Van Boening/Deuel 1 – 5 Immonen/Van den Berg

Darren Appleton

IN AN UNBELIEVABLE night of drama at the York Hall, Europe took down three of the four matches to take a two point lead into the final day, and now need just three wins to regain the PartyCasino.com Mosconi Cup.

The venue was sold out six weeks ago and with over 500 people crammed into the historic East London venue, the atmosphere was like nothing seen in the world of pool.

In an evening of high spots, the high spot was probably Darren Appleton’s come-from-behind win against Dennis Hatch which sparked scenes of celebration never seen in this event.

It was Nick Van den Berg and Mika Immonen who delivered the crushing blow though, as they hammered Van Boening and Deuel 5-1 to give their side a two point cushion.

The evening started brightly for Team USA as Dennis Hatch and Shane Van Boening pulled the first point of the evening right out of the fire as they came from 4-1 down to take the match in the final rack.

Hatch was fired up as usual and played some outstanding jump shots under pressure and Van Boening was his imperious best.

It was a bitter blow for the Europeans who had yet to take the lead since the opening team game. Hatch, who barely completed an interview with Sky Sports Andy Goldstein last year without the tears flowing, was no different this time.

“In that match I was a little bit nervous but to come back from 4-1 down and make outs like we did was crazy and that might’ve taken something out of their sails” said a jubilant Hatchetman.

“Representing my country means more to me than anything. I’m fighting for my country, with my family back home watching I want to perform – the tears are coming.

“The adrenaline is going crazy and my brain is numb and my body is numb. You can’t ask for a better ending than and if we win or lose I’ll always remember this match.”

Europe’s win the second match was almost predictable as they squared the scores for the fifth time in the competition. It was that man Boyes again who grabbed the point along with Ralf Souquet as they got the better of Rodney Morris and Johnny Archer.

It was another tough match when many of the shots were pure pressure. The Englishman though, who many thought may have struggled with the atmosphere of the Mosconi Cup, did nothing of the sort once again as he recorded his fourth win out of four matches.

The score was 5 – 4 but Europe were 4-1 ahead and let the racks slip away before Souquet slammed home a decent break shot in the decider to leave a decent layout which the Europeans completed.

“It’s nice to be able to do a TV interview as I haven’t had the best of Mosconi Cups,” said Souquet after the match.

“But we’ve got a great team spirit and it’s amazing the support we get from the fans. There’s nothing better than to have a straight 9-ball to win so I was 1,000 per cent sure Karl would make it, that’s why I celebrated early.

“Whatever we do goes wrong and Nick and Darren played a great match in the one before, didn’t do anything wrong, were 4-1 down but still couldn’t win.

“We’re at 6-6 and haven’t managed to get many rolls so that’s a big achievement and as soon as we get some rolls we will be up.”

Next, the Darren Appleton and Dennis Hatch singles match was nothing short of sensational. It had everything that a pool match could have as Hatch came out the traps fast and once again built up a 4 – 1 lead.

In the Mosconi Cup though, that often doesn’t count for much and Appleton who looked in a bad way in the early stages, mounted a comeback. He got the score to 4-4 as Hatch broke for the match.

He had a long shot on the 1-ball and made it and got position for the tricky looking 4-ball. The hyped up American looked good for the win but amazingly left a thin part of the 9 ball obscuring the 8.

He tried to swerve round but failed to pot the ball leaving a tough 8 ball up table for Appleton. He downed it and screamed out in excitement jumping round the table.

He pocketed the 9-ball, dropped his cue on the floor, ran around the table, jumped high in the air into the arms of his team-mate Karl Boyes, then into the arms of captain Johan Ruijsink!

It may well have been the most exuberant celebration in Mosconi Cup history. The shaft on Appleton’s cue got broken in the melee and Europe took the lead at 7-6, the first time they had lead since 1-0.

It was then left to Van den Berg and Immonen to add the final point of the evening to seal a great night for the European team.

“I’m over the moon,” said a delighted Van den Berg.

“We just played very positively, went for every shot and made everything we went for. We’re very pleased to have the lead at the end of the day but we’re not there yet.

Immonen added “I was born in London and feel at home here. This crowd is great. Watching Darren win the last match we just wanted to keep it going. With the emotion that came out of Darren we were all on a high and just wanted to continue in the same way.”

12th December

It’s Anyone’s!

USA 8 – 9 Europe

Rodney Morris 1 – 6 Mika Immonen

Johnny Archer 6 – 5 Karl Boyes

Dennis Hatch 6 – 5 Nick Van den Berg

THE 2010 PARTYCASINO.COM Mosconi Cup is finely poised as it enters the final session of the competition. Europe lead by a single point, but it was Team USA who have the momentum following successive final rack wins by Johnny Archer and Dennis Hatch.

Shane Van Boening and Darren Appleton will be first out, followed by Ralf Souquet v Corey Deuel and should things still be alive, there will be two captains’ pick matches to decide the destination of the trophy.

Trailing by two coming into the afternoon session, the USA got off to the worst possible start as Rodney Morris bit the dust, a 6-1 victim of Mika Immonen as the races returned to six. That meant that Europe were within two points of regaining the Cup.

The flying Finn, making his 14th Mosconi Cup appearance, put in his most assured performance of the event so far while Morris, by contrast made too many mistakes to have a realistic chance of it.

Immonen enjoyed a couple of crucial flukes too, including an outrageous piece of luck on the green 6 in what was the final rack. He had hooked himself and slammed a hit-and-hope kick shot which saw the 6 go up and down the table and then fall into the side pocket.

Immonen offers his hand in apology but that will be of no comfort to Morris. From there he completed the rack for a very valuable point.

“The crowd is definitely helping us, there’s a great atmosphere and my brothers and one sister are here and I’m very happy for them to witness the madness,” said a delighted Immonen.

“We’re on a great run and I hope it continues – I managed to control the cue ball better on the break.

“Rodney had to push out three times and that didn’t help him. He seemed very tense, more tense than usual and I saw some nerves in his face and I used that for my own confidence.

“I knew a lot of pressure was on my shoulders to keep the lead and if they close the gap then they could be unstoppable so it was important to come out with all guns blazing.

“I’m honoured by my coach to be picked first and I’m glad I came through.

Johnny Archer kept the US hopes alive in the next as he took away Karl Boyes unbeaten tag in another thrilling encounter at the York Hall. Boyes looked dead in the water at 5 – 1 down, but as we have seen so many times before, no match is won here until the final 9 drops.

Boyes looked composed as he got the match back to the inevitable 5-5 scoreline. Full credit to Archer though as he held his nerve and ran out the final rack from the break to keep his team right in it.

“We’ve been fighting all week and it’s tough. A couple of times I didn’t get shots off the break but a couple of times I did and then the bottom fell out of it,” said an honest Archer.

“The pressure doesn’t compare to anything. The Mosconi Cup pressure is something you never get to experience unless you’re in the team.

“In the first few years I was very nervous but now I’m not quite as nervous as I just try to cherish every moment as I might not qualify to get back.

“We aren’t out of this. Nick Varner said to us you are down 9-6 in a race to 11 and have you been in that position so we said ‘yeah’. Then he said have you won from that position and we said ‘yeah’!”

It was the big man Dennis Hatch, last year’s MVP, who got his side to within a point of the Europeans with another final rack win, this time over Nick Van den Berg.

Hatch lead 4-0 but a spirited comeback from the Dutchman saw him reach the hill first. Hatch levelled it and they both had chances in the final rack before the American prevailed.

“I was shaking like a leaf and it’s hard to control your emotions as it can get to you really quickly,” said Hatch.

“I think we’ve played horribly. We were supposed to have won almost every match. The only match we were supposed to lose was me and Johnny in the partners match but the momentum is now going our way.

“Playing terribly has nothing to do with the crowd. I like it when people want me to lose as that makes me want to win even more. But the table is playing differently to last year and the balls are sliding and the rolls are really fast if you catch it wrong.”

Europe Storm to Mosconi Cup Triumph!

USA 8 – 11 Europe

Shane Van Boening 2 – 6 Darren Appleton

Corey Deuel 4 – 6 Ralf Souquet

Team Europe

EUROPE are the 2010 PartyCasino.com Mosconi Cup champions after Darren Appleton and then Ralf Souquet took the requisite two points to see their side over the line for their third triumph in four years.

It was Souquet who downed the winning 9 ball – a repeat of the 2007 event when he beat Rodney Morris for an 11-8 win. This time his victim was Corey Deuel and the York Hall erupted as the German’s team mates charged into the arena for some wild celebrations.

“This is the greatest feeling on earth to make the final 9-ball and make us win, “said a jubilant Souquet.

The MVP Award went to Darren Appleton who won the hearts of the crowd with a string of marvellous performances filled with superb shot making under pressure. His record of two singles and two doubles points with a single defeat was unmatched by any other player in the event.

“You can’t win the Mosconi Cup without playing like a team and the lads have been amazing,” said Appleton.

“I played really well but a massive part of it has been down to the crowd and it was very easy to feed off the crowd – the bigger the crowd the better I play.

“We had a lead overnight and that set us up for today and the guys played awesome. The emotion is just crazy. We had a great spirit in the camp, the crowd were fantastic and were our sixth man.

“When we came here you just think about playing well for the team and win it for your team and your nation. You don’t think about yourself but obviously it’s a great bonus to win the MVP so I’m very happy with how I played.

“It’s really difficult to get into the European team as there are that many great players. It’s really hard to make the team but hopefully winning the MVP gives me a chance of getting in next year’s event as well.”

For captain Johan Ruijsink, it was his third Mosconi Cup following a win in Vegas in ’07 and a draw in Rotterdam in ’06.

“I haven’t lost one yet and it’s an honour to be the European captain, but I would like to thank Matchroom for staging such a great event again and thank you to the opponents.

“If they weren’t such worthy opponents it wouldn’t have been such a great Mosconi Cup. Last of all I would like thank my team. They stuck to the plan and we did it.”

England’s Karl Boyes, who was the only rookie in the event, completely dispelled any doubts about his ability to handle it with a string of match-winning performances.

“I’ve watched a lot of Mosconi Cups being a sports fan and everyone has always said Bethnal Green is the place it should be. On the first night I saw the crowd shouting and chanting and it was just unbelievable. Everything has just been awesome,” said Boyes.

The teams entered the evening session with Europe needing two points and the Americans three, and it was Darren Appleton who fired Europe within one point of victory with a stunning performance that put him right in line for the MVP award.

He beat Shane Van Boening 6-2 in what was a 50/50 match on paper but the man from Pontefract put in his best show of the week to put his team on the hill.

Appleton played some magnificent shots under pressure including an eye-catching table length draw shot as he over-whelmed Van Boening. That set the scene for Souquet to bring the Cup home for Europe.

It was a disappointing weekend for the Americans who were always in it but fell away in the critical closing stages.

“They played well so congratulations to the Europeans. They outplayed us all week and we just have to take it and wait for next year,” commented Rodney Morris.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com

www.matchroompool.com

Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of nine sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the Mosconi Cup is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the World Pool Masters.

The 2010 Mosconi Cup is sponsored by PartyCasino.com, the world’s leading online casino. Tables are supplied by Brunswick Billiards, cloth by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc and the Official Cue is Predator.

China Wins World Cup of Pool

BUSTAMANTE AND REYES HOPE FOR MORE WORLD CUP GLORY

FRANCISCO Bustamante hopes he and Efren Reyes can claim the World Cup of Pool title for a third time.

The PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool begins on Tuesday at Robinson’s Place in Ermita, Manila, Philippines, with Bustamante and Reyes aiming to win the competition in front of their home fans for the second year running.

“It was huge for us to win in the Philippines last year as it was held here and it brought a lot of pride to the Philippine nation,” said Bustamante, who, with Reyes, also won the inaugural tournament in 2006.

“We’re practising every day, especially since winning last year and we were delighted to win the title – it’s a big deal for us.

“Now I’m trying to correct my break because of the problems I had with it last year.”

The main matches will be broadcast live in the Philippines on Solar TV and the Philippines A duo of Bustamante and Reyes will be in action on Tuesday night when they meet Thailand.

“I’m confident and relaxed as I’m used to playing in this tournament now and I’m relying on my partner who is now a world champion,” added Reyes.

Ralf Souquet was part of the German side that lost in the 2009 final and The Kaiser admitted it would be difficult to wrestle the trophy away from the hosts.

“There are some great teams and of course our goal is to win it this year – we don’t want to be runners-up again,” said Souquet.

“But there are two great Philippines teams as well as strong teams from USA, China and England, who have won so much this year.

“The World Cup of Pool is a great opportunity to play in front of big crowds and it’s a little more noisy than other tournaments.”

The Philippines B side consists of Roberto Gomez and Dennis Orcollo, a winner at one of the toughest competitions of 2010 when he claimed the World Pool Masters trophy in Las Vegas in May.

“It’s an honour to be representing the Philippines and we’re going to be doing everything we can,” said Orcollo.

“It’s going to be a tough tournament because of the talent that is here but all we can do is our best. I’ve told my partner we just need to practise and stay focused.”

Ralph Roy, vice president of business operations for Solar TV, said: “This is a great event, a big event for us and the Philippines and we’re proud to be hosting it.

“All of the best players in the world will be here and we’re glad they will be showing off their talents here.

“We’ll be showing the best matches and I invite all Filipinos to come and watch the matches.”

Luke Riches, Media Manager of Matchroom Sport, added: “We all love coming to this country. The people are all so enthusiastic, there are some great players and we have a great presence in the media.

“Last year was one of the greatest pool finals ever seen where the Philippines won 11-9 in front of a massive crowd. We look forward to seeing thousands of people watch this year’s fantastic event.”

For full match reports and reaction, go to the official website www.matchroompool.com and click on the World Cup of Pool tab at the top of the page.

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Russia is First Team Through

India Blow Great Chance

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

PLAY got underway at the fifth annual PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool at Robinsons Place Mall in Ermita, Manila as 64 of the best players on the planet gathered to do battle for the $250,000 prize fund.

All first round matches are race to eight, winners break and the Russian pair of Ruslan Chinakhov and Konstantin Stepanov, making their fourth appearance together in this event, recorded an outstanding come-from-behind win to eliminate Canada from the competition.

The Canadians – Jason Klatt and John Morra – had looked solid in the early stages as they raced into a 4-0 lead. A mistake from Klatt though, as he missed a banked five ball onto the centre pocket, allowed the Russians to take their first rack of the match and the comeback was on.

They took the next two to get to 3-4 before Klatt suffered the misfortune of having a foul called on him by referee Nigel Rees when his shirt touched a ball whilst cueing. Russia didn’t hesitate and squared the match at 4-4.

It was the turning point in the game, as Canada failed to stem the Russian tide as Stepanov and Chinakhov won the next four racks to ease themselves into the last 16.

‘We were so nervous at the beginning and they played well. But we were just waiting for a mistake, they made one and we took two racks,’ said Stepanov after the match.

“We gave them the play again but they didn’t take it and made a stupid foul (when Klatt’s shirt touched a ball) and that was the main moment of the match.

‘We could play Germany and that will be a really tough match if they beat Hong Kong. The German team is really special and Ralf is a brilliant team player. But their relationship is not perfect and I don’t know how comfortable they feel so we will see what happens,’ he added.

India will rue the missed opportunities as they blew leads of 5-0 and 6-2 in the second match of the first session, to get dumped out of the competition 7-8 at the hands of Indonesia.

The Indonesian pair of Muhammad Zulfikri and Ricky Yang looked out of sorts in the early stages as Raj Hundal and Dharminder Singh Lilly got the better of the exchanges as their confidence grew.

At 5-0 to the good, the Indians looked in full control of proceedings but Indonesia took the next two before wasting chances in the ninth game and India moved into a great 6-2 lead.

Mistakes came from both sides but the Indonesian’s who looked dead and buried earlier appear to be in the ascendancy as they steal four racks on the spin to level the match at 6-6 and leave their opponents reeling.

A scratch from Zulfikri gave India the chance they were looking for and they moved to the hill and broke for the match. A poor safety from Lilly though left the ball on for Indonesia and that enabled them to level the match at 7-7.

India still had a chance but Hundal ran out of position going from 7 to 8 and Lilly’s bank shot fails and leaves the 8 ball hanging over the pocket to hand victory to Yang and Zulfikri.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

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Chinese Duo Power Through

Italy Beat Koreans Girls in Thriller

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

CHINA, winners of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool back in 2007, made light work of Belgium as they booked their second round spot with a comfortable 8-2 win.

The pairing of Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen cut contrasting figures at the table but their doubles play is second to none and they look in shape to have another go at winning pool’s most coveted team title.

There are six first round matches per day and all matches are played in a single table arena with 400 seats and literally thousands more looking from the expansive balconies at Robinson Place.

The Belgian pair of Noel Bruynooghe and Serge Das has had their share of glory moments in the World Cup and they won a qualifying event in Europe to book their spot in Manila. However, they never had a chance to settle as the Chinese twosome ran away with the match.

They now face Italy in the second round and will be a tough prospect for anyone.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

The second match of the second session was a thriller as Italy’s Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore edged out the girl power duo of Yu Ram Cha and Ga Young Kim by 8-6, in front of over 1,000 people.

“The crowd here in the Philippines is the best in the world – it’s like a soccer crowd in Italy or Brazil. Here everyone knows me as a player but in Italy only my mother and father recognise me!

“It was very difficult for us and I knew they were strong. We know pool and knew we would have to be lucky and play very good. For me the women are very tough, just like the men. Jasmin Ouschan plays better than me.

“I’m very happy we won and we played good. We’ve played pool for 15 years so we know the game and if we play well and get lucky then we can beat Efren and Francisco who are the best in the world.”

There were mistakes as well as quality play from both sides and at 6-6, the match was anyone’s.  Both teams made mistakes in the 13th rack but it was Muratore who saved the day for Italy as he bagged a tricky 9 ball to get them to the hill.

Petroni, though, made a dry break in the next but the Koreans came unstuck on the 2 ball as Italy wrapped it up for the win.

———————-

10th September

Super Germans on Cruise Control

France Scrape Through Against Woeful England

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

TEAM GERMANY (Ralf Souquet and Oliver Ortmann) played a near perfect game to crush their Russian opponents and advance to the quarter-finals of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool on Friday afternoon.

8-1 was the scoreline and the crowd at Robinsons Place, Manila were left in no doubt that Germany represent a major threat to win this tournament. It was perfect, clinical pool from the two World Champions and the Russian pair of Konstantin Stepanov and Ruslan Chinakhov had no answers.

In fact the Russians were staring at a shut-out defeat before they took the eighth rack to make their sole contribution to the scoreboard. Along with Taiwan, Germany look the team of the tournament to date and they will face a lack-lustre France who fell over the line against an awful England.

“It was almost perfect; I screwed up one position followed by Oliver missing a ball but they miscued so it came back straight to us,” said Souquet.

“I’m more satisfied than the first match but there’s still room for improvement and I still haven’t had my best game. I think we’re working very well as everybody could see so nothing to complain about.

“Even though the Philippines A lost it’s not getting any easier at all as there are still China, England and Indonesia, who beat Philippines A. I would’ve liked Philippines A to still be in as the crowd would’ve been more crazy and it was a chance for revenge for last year.

“But we don’t care who we meet in the next round. Every opponent will be tough and whoever makes it to the quarter-finals is a good team.”

Ortmann added, “As long as we play this way we will beat anybody. In the Hong Kong match we were up 2-0 then trailing 2-4 but our confidence was pretty high and we never felt bad.

“For the match against Russia I expected to be more pressure from Russia but we played pretty good from the beginning so they didn’t have a chance to come into the game.

The second match of the day was described by commentator Ted Lerner as ‘a tawdry affair, a sordid mess,’ and there wouldn’t be many people watching who would disagree with him.

France 8-6 England was the scoreline but it was a match that lasted for over two hours as neither side played with any sort of fluency. For Karl Boyes and Daryl Peach, it was a day to forget and possibly a low spot in their respective careers.

The recount the nuts and bolts of the match would be superfluous but the match was a litany of missed pots, unforced errors and sloppy positional play.

Both teams had plenty of chances but none were really taken and France can now look forward to meeting Germany in the quarter-finals. The contrast in their respective performances was so great that only a madman would bet against Germany.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam

—————————-

10th September

Finland Thump the Dutch

Ominous Chinese into Last Eight

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

CHINA AND FINLAND, who contested that epic 2007 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool final in Rotterdam, are both through the quarter-finals of this year’s competition in Manila following a couple of great performances on Friday afternoon at Robinsons Place Mall.

Represented by Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen, the Chinese overcame Italy’s Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore by 8-5. The crowd were itching to see some quality pool after the miserable France v England game earlier and they weren’t disappointed.

China was always in the ascendancy as they lead throughout with Fu’s outstanding shot-making supported by Li’s solid dependable style. Italy got the score to 3-2 but China reeled off the next three to take a 6-2 lead.

Italy though is always an entertaining side to watch and they dug in to take the next two racks and stay in the match. China though had too much and they clinched the necessary two games to set up a quarter-final clash against Indonesia, a match they must fancy.

Finland was up against Holland in what may have been a 50/50 encounter on paper. However, pool is played on a table and the duo of Mika Immonen and Markus Juva tore the heart out of the Dutch.

Winning the lag, Finland broke and ran the first three games to put the Dutch on their back feet and they never recovered. Holland, Niels Feijen and Huidji See, got to the table in the fourth game but could make no impact.

The Finns were looking ice cool with Immonen justifying his billing as the No.1 player in the world. They carried on winning the racks with the sole Dutch contribution coming in the eighth rack. Finland will now face Philippines B or Spain in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.

“In our World Cup history that is one of our best ever performances and it feels especially sweet with it coming against a Dutch team who are well respected,” said a delighted Immonen.

“We were a bit lucky in the first rack but we never looked back after that. They got one rack on the scoreboard but we were tuned in and had a good time.

“My mentality was to go out and to not show too much respect. We go out to crush the teams but at the same time we respect them. We both stepped up and played some good shots.

“We’re doing something right so we just have to do what we’re doing. At 6-0 we just wanted to close them out 8-0 and we didn’t want to get a false sense of security.

“The opponents are getting tougher and tougher but we’re happy to get rid of that run where we played great in the first round and then lost. “With the England and Philippines A out it does raise our hopes even more and it’s always easier without them in the way,” he added.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam

—————————–

10th September

Philippines March On To Quarters

Super Poles Oust USA in Decider

Poland 8-7 USA

Philippines B 8-4 Spain

Team Philippines B, consisting of Dennis ‘Robocop’ Orcollo and Roberto ‘Superman’ Gomez can safely assume the mantle of the ‘A’ Team after despatching a dangerous Spanish team to advance to the last eight of the 2010 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool.

With all matches taking place in a 400 seat arena in Robinsons Place Mall in Manila, the place was packed with an estimated 2,000 spectators watching from all vantage points. With the defending champions – Reyes and Bustamante – having departed the competition yesterday at the hands of Indonesia, the nation’s hopes rested on Orcollo and Gomez and they didn’t disappoint.

The Spanish pair of David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz was reckoned to have half a chance of an upset and they took the early 2-1 lead. The Philippines, though, won the next six racks on the spin as the Spanish lads were forced to watch proceedings from their seats.

The last one is always the hardest as they say – witness Poland and the USA earlier in the evening – and Spain fought hard to stay in the match when they had their chance.

They won the 10th and 11th racks but in the end the task was too much and Gomez dropped the final 9 ball to send the massive crowd singing into the Manila night.

“I told Gomez to not be afraid as in this tournament you can get very nervous. It’s a battle of nerves out there and you have more than 2,000 people watching you and cheering for you but you get energy from them and that helps you win the match,” said Orcollo.

“Our celebrations were a way of keeping our nerves away. We are under pressure so we had to do something; we feel more pressure now because the crowds depend on us because of the other Filipino players already gone from the tournament,” Gomez added.

In the earlier match of the evening, there was a superb performance from underdogs Poland as the beat the heavyweights of the USA in a last frame decider. Radoslaw Babica and Mariusz Skoneczny were the heroes as they blew a 7-4 lead against a come backing USA but got the better of Rodney Morris and Johnny Archer in a magnificent final rack.

The Polish pair showed no nerves as they moved into an early 2-0 lead. Babica is a seasoned ten year veteran of world competition while his younger compatriot Skoneczny was a late called up to the side following Mariusz Sniegocki’s withdrawal due to a ban.

The USA though, got the score back to 3-3 before they shared the next two for a 4-4 scoreline. However, a combination of loose play from the Americans and some solid stuff from the Poles saw the score move to an unthinkable 7-4 for the Eastern Europeans.

Morris and Archer, with nothing to lose, started to pull the racks back and before long, it was hill-hill. The last rack was epic as both sides had chances to win and there were plenty of mistakes and misses but in the end Archer had to hit the ball hard to escape a safety and the remaining balls fell nicely for the Poles who held their nerve to win.

“That’s not our biggest win as last year we also played in the quarter-finals and on the way we beat Taiwan, who we play in the quarter-finals next” said an excited Babica.

“I’ve seen Taiwan’s matches and they’re really strong and I think they’re much better than they were last year because they have a very good break and are playing with no pressure.

“The beginning of the match was ok but when we got to the hill we were a bit nervous. We made two mistakes and at the end we got lucky as they missed the ball and we won the rack,” he added.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Quarter Final Matches Saturday from 2.00pm

Indonesia v China

Germany v France

Philippines B v Finland

Taiwan v Poland

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

Poland 8-7 USA

Philippines B 8-4 Spain

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam

—————————–

11th September

Germany Dump France in Dogfight

Magnificent Chinese on Track for Title No.2

China 9-3 Indonesia

Germany 9-7 France

GERMANY are still on course for their second consecutive PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool final as they laboured to a 9-7 win over the French team of Francois Cottance and Stephan Cohen at Robinsons Place Mall in Manila.

Ralf Souquet and Oliver Ortmann would have started as overwhelming favourites against France following highly impressive wins over Hong Kong and Russia but pool isn’t always like that as they struggled throughout as the dogged Frenchmen stayed with them.

In the end though they had a little bit too much going for them and they can now look forward to a semi-final match up against China tomorrow (Sunday). The Chinese looked superb in dismantling Indonesia and the Germans will have to pick up the pace if they are to succeed.

“It was a tough one. We win as a team and lose as a team. It’s doubles and I can’t win by myself and Oliver can’t win by himself – It’s a race to nine winner break but it felt like alternate break,” said Souquet.

“France were not the favourites against England but still won. I didn’t watch the match, just the last couple of racks but I heard from a lot of spectators that France v England was a really bad one but they still beat England who had two of the reigning World Team champions.

“It’s not as easy as it seems for outside spectators, once you’re in the arena and feel the heat. The French team might be a little under-estimated but Stephan Cohen won a 14.1 world title and Francois Cottance is very well known on the Euro Tour and a regular there.”

Ortmann added, “That was my worst match. I didn’t play that good and made a couple of mistakes. I’m glad I had a strong partner like Ralf and that’s why we won.

“Part of being a team is getting confidence from the other player and that’s what helped this time. Ralf helped me a lot and that’s why we won. We knew France would play better than yesterday – they couldn’t play worse.

“We were the favourites but we know both players from the Euro Tour. Everyone expected us to win and it’s tough to be the favourites.”

Germany were always in the ascendancy and at 7-4 to the good, it looked to be a formality. However, Cohen and Cottance dug in, chipping away and at 7-8 down and breaking they looked to have a chance.

They didn’t take it though and when Cohen missed the pink 4 into the centre pocket, it was game, set and match Germany.

Earlier, the Chinese duo of Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen looked the business in dismantling Ricky Yang and Mohammad Zulfikri of Indonesia and the 2007 champions will be hard to beat.

Both players have strong all round games plus plenty of bottle and both are capable of pulling out stunning shots when needed. Their biggest strength though is their ability to convert racks from the smallest of opportunities and the telepathic nature of their play.

Zulfikri and Yang are both quality players but they were on the rack from the off as the Chinese put them under severe pressure.

China went into a 3-0 lead and the writing was on the wall but Indonesia fought hard and won the next three to level the match. That was to be their last significant contribution to the contest as China came with all sorts of shots to win the next six games and seal victory.

“That was a great win for us and we are feeling good about our game,” said Fu.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Quarter Final Scores

China 9-3 Indonesia

Germany 9-7 France

Philippines B v Finland

Taiwan v Poland

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

Poland 8-7 USA

Philippines B 8-4 Spain

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam

—————————-

11th September

Orcollo, Gomez Keeps Home Dreams Alive

Taiwan Looming in Sunday Semi Showdown

Taiwan 9-5 Poland

Philippines B 9-1 Finland

TWO OF the heavyweights of world pool will contest the second semi-final of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool as Taiwan and the Philippines both recorded last eight wins at Robinsons Place Mall, Manila on Saturday evening.

Taiwan, represented by Chang Jung-lin and Ko Pin-yi, held off brave Poland for a deserved victory while Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez set the 2,000 plus crowd on fire with a 9-1 win over Mika Immonen and Markus Juva of Finland.

With assembled experts divided on who would win, it was the home nation’s remaining representatives who got off to a blistering start. Juva’s foul on a jump shot in the opener set the tone as the Philippines completed the run out with cue ball in hand.

Playing superbly, Gomez and Orcollo broke and ran the next two and made it 4-0 when Immonen’s attempt on a 2/4 combo failed. They broke and ran out the next three, making the game look easy.

Finland, going cold sitting in their chairs, had the occasional visit but not to anything of any value to them. They had a chance to take the eighth game but Immonen missed a horrible 8 ball.

The Finns finally got a rack to make the score 8-1 but another miss from Mika, sealed the deal for a 9-1 Philippines win, much to the delight of the crowd at the mall and many more watching around the country on Solar Sports.

“We played a great game and it was our best performance but maybe we can play better tomorrow,” said Gomez after the match.

“We were trying to look for the break and I think we found it as we made it every time. The break is something we only practise two or three hours before the game here so we’re ready for anything. It’s really important to practise on the same table and on the same cloth.

“We have Taiwan tomorrow but for us we do not see who the opponent is. If we play the same as this then we can beat anybody and everybody but Taiwan are a really tough team.”

Orcollo added, “We made our break good and there was always a shot on so that’s why the confidence was there. With the audience there’s a lot of confidence there as they are always very supportive of the Philippines and that’s why we played really nice tonight.”

Earlier in the evening, Taiwan looked all business as they disposed of the plucky Polish pair of Radoslaw Babica and Mariusz Skoneczny by 9-5. Trailing 3-0 and then 5-2, the Poles got back to 5-4 at one point but the quality of the Taiwanese play was too much in the end.

They now face the Philippines in what promises to be a humdinger of a match on Sunday afternoon.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Semi Finals 1pm Sunday

China v Germany

Philippines B v Taiwan

Quarter Final Scores

China 9-3 Indonesia

Germany 9-7 France

Philippines B 9-1 Finland

Taiwan 9-5 Poland

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

Poland 8-7 USA

Philippines B 8-4 Spain

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam

—————————

12th September

It’s Philippines v China for the World Cup

China Edge Germany as Pinoys KO Taiwan in Thriller

China 9-7 Germany

Philippines B 9-8 Taiwan

The 2010 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool final will be contested by China and Philippines B after a couple of epic semi-finals at the Robinson Place Mall in Manila.

Earlier China (Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen) had beaten Germany in an exciting encounter before Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez blew the roof off the venue with a marvellous 9-8 win over the dangerous Taiwan.

The Taiwanese pair of Chang Jung-lin and Ko Pin-yi looked very relaxed throughout the match as the hyped-up up Filipino pair fought to stay with them. It was always close and at 8 all, Ko broke in the last and downed three balls. The lowest numbered ball, the blue 2 was available but Chang, taking an eternity, missed the tough pot.

The crowd went wild and Orcollo started jumping up and down like a madman out of control. They managed to compose themselves and with the massive crowd willing down every shot, they cleared the table to book a place in the final.

“I have never been that nervous in my life and my whole body was shaking’” said Orcollo, who will now need to calm himself down for this evening’s final.

“I said to Gomez to just hit the back of the ball. He hit the back of the ball and it worked. Now we’re in the final. I was so nervous I nearly passed out.”

Earlier, China made it through to their second PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool final as they edged past Germany in a thrilling match in downtown Manila.

9-7 was the scoreline for Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen but full credit must to Ralf Souquet and Oliver Ortmann who looked to be on the receiving end of a thumping but fought their way back into the match and had chances to win.

After winning the opening rack, the Germans got the worse of the exchanges and the Chinese pair established a 6-1 lead in the race to nine encounter. A dry break from China in the eighth rack gave Germany a chance and they stopped the rot as Souquet downed the 9 ball.

At this stage, the Chinese must have felt fairly confident but within half an hour the Germans were all square and in the ascendancy. Li Hewen missed the 4 ball in the next and Germany took the lead for the first time since the opener.

Souquet and Ortmann had played outstanding stuff to get back in the game and they nearly made a golden break in the next to reach the hill.

The 9 ball hung over the pocket with the 2 ball nearby but Souquet missed a very tough pot on the 1 ball. China did the necessary to get to 7-7 and then ran out the next to reach the hill.

The winning run out nearly broke down but Fu Jianbo, who must be one of the greatest shot-makers in the game, potted an outstanding 8 ball down the rail to seal it.

Germany, while clearly disappointed having fought so hard, were edged out by the better team on the day and can console themselves with $8,000 each.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Semi Finals 1pm Sunday

China 9-7 Germany

Philippines B v Taiwan

Quarter Final Scores

China 9-3 Indonesia

Germany 9-7 France

Philippines B 9-1 Finland

Taiwan 9-5 Poland

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

Poland 8-7 USA

Philippines B 8-4 Spain

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam

——————————-

12th September

China Wins World Cup of Pool

Second Title in Four Years for Li and Fu

China 10-5 Philippines

(Photo: Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen)

CHINA, represented by Fu Jianbo and Li Hewen, won their second PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool crown as they dismantled the Philippines by a 10-5 scoreline and silenced a huge home crowd at the Robinsons Place Mall in Manila.

It was the second time that the deadly Chinese duo have now lifted this prestigious crown – they beat Finland in a hill-hill thriller in Rotterdam in 2007 – and they never let up from the opening rack as the home team felt the pressure and never really got going.

Over the week of the tournament, the sheer quality of their play throughout shone through and in Fu Jianbo they have one of the most exciting players in the world. Li Hewen though is as reliable as any player and to win the World Cup twice in four years cements their world class credentials.

“We are very happy with the victory but we just got the luck we needed from the Philippines team,” said a reflective Fu Jianbo.

“They made a few mistakes and we took advantage of that. The Philippines team literally gave us the match because they made a lot more mistakes than we did. It was very pressured though, because it was a big pro-Filipino crowd.

“It was like the home court advantage so to win here, we’ve got to be very, very happy winning the tournament,” he added.

For the Philippines side of Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez, it was an anticlimax after their heroic 9-8 defeat of Taiwan in the semis and maybe they were mentally drained by their efforts.

Either way, China took the opening rack to settle their nerves but the Philippines levelled it when their opponents made a mess of the 8 and 9 balls. Every Filipino pot and Chinese miss was greeted with deafening cheers.

It’s hard to under-estimate the pressure the players were under and it showed in a shocking third rack as the four struggled to pot a ball between them as the crowd started to get agitated.

Every single player missed shots they would normally have made. Gomez’s mistake, when he missed the 9-ball into the side pocket, was the most crucial though and Fu Jianbo downed the 9-ball for a 2-1 lead.

The next rack isn’t much better and it went to China to increase their lead and they took the next to go to 4-1 which silenced the huge home crowd.

Orcollo made a huge error in the next when his attempt to snooker the Chinese fell woefully short. Fu Jianbo, normally the most reliable of potters, missed an easy 9 ball but Gomez could only play a less than watertight safety and Li Hewen played a magnificent cut shot to give his side a 5-1 lead.

The Philippines desperately needed a break to stop the runaway train and they got it when Li, scratched pushing out. They tried for the three foul rule but Fu went off three rails for the great escape. Gomez left a poor snooker which Li potted with a kick shot and it was soon 6-1.

It soon became 7-1 as the dynamic Chinese pair ran out from the break. The Philippines finally got a shot at the 1 ball in the ninth as Li hashed up a 1/4 combo. Orcollo though, missed a tough long cut on the 5 ball and China took another rack. China reached the hill as a weak shot from Orcollo left an open table.

Philippines finally won another rack to reduce arrears to 9-2 and they then broke and ran the next two to get the crowd going. It was all too much of a mountain and although they got to five racks, it was the mighty Fu Jianbo who rolled home the final 9 ball of the tournament for Chinese glory.

As well as the title, magnificent trophy and gold medals, the duo also took the US $60,000 top prize.

“It was a great performance from us and playing with Fu gives us so much confidence,” said Li Hewen.

“To win the World Cup again is an incredible experience and fantastic for Chinese pool and we can’t wait to come back next year and try to defend our title,” he added.

With 32 teams representing 31 countries – home nation Philippines has two sides in the competition – the World Cup of Pool sees the gathering of some of the most decorated stars of the pool firmament. The event is taking place at Robinsons Place, in Ermita, Manila.

With a total purse of $250,000, the winning pair split $60,000 between them while first round losers are guaranteed $1,500 each. All the action will be carried live on Solar Sports in

The Philippines and other broadcasters across the region.

Semi Finals Scores

China 9-7 Germany

Philippines B 9-8 Taiwan

Quarter Final Scores

China 9-3 Indonesia

Germany 9-7 France

Philippines B 9-1 Finland

Taiwan 9-5 Poland

Second Round Scores

Taiwan 8-2 Japan

Indonesia 8-6 Philippines A

Germany 8 -1 Russia

France 8-6 England

China 8-5 Italy

Finland 8-1 Holland

Poland 8-7 USA

Philippines B 8-4 Spain

First Round Scores

Russia 8–4 Canada

Indonesia 8-7 India

China 8–2 Belgium

Italy 8-6 Korea

Germany 8–4 Hong Kong

Philippines A 8-3 Thailand

England 8–7 Qatar

France 8-5 Australia

Japan 8–7 Slovenia

Poland 8-6 Malta

Taiwan 8–2 Malaysia

Philippines B 8-4 Croatia

Holland 8–3 Austria

Finland 8-2 Singapore

USA 8-7 Sweden

Spain 8-5 Vietnam