Orcollo is World Pool Masters Champion

He Beats ‘Unknown’ Kuribayashi for Title

(photo Dennis Orcollo)

OVER 750 players from around the world attempted to win the 2010 PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters but in the end after five days of play at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, it was Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines who claimed the title and with it the $20,000 first prize.

He beat the relatively unknown 25 year-old Japanese player Toru Kuribayashi 8-3 in front of an enthusiastic Las Vegas crowd to cement his position of one of the world’s top players. For Kuribayashi it was a week of superb performances and his name will now be known throughout the pool world.

“I’m very happy and you can see the tears in my eyes. If I could fly in the sky then I would fly. This tournament is really hard to win but I made it and I’m really proud to have won this. It’s my biggest win,” said a jubilant Orcollo.

“It was very difficult to play in the final as you try to not think that if you win this game then you are the champion. In the semi-final I wasn’t feeling like that but in the final I had to tell myself to just try and control my emotion.

“If you can’t stay in control of your emotions then you can’t do anything and your mind goes blank. So I just controlled myself and continued my game right until the end,” he added.

Orcollo came through the double elimination stage of the competition with an opening win over Shaun Wilkie, then a 9-8 defeat to Marcus Chamat and then victory against Jasmine Ouschan to reach the last 32.

There he avenged his defeat to Chamat with a 9-7 win before beating Raj Hundal 8-1 in the last 16. John Morra (Canada) was his quarter final victim before beating compatriot Roberto Gomez in the semi-final.

Kuribayashi got off to the worst start to the event, losing to Charlie Williams in his opening match, but made his way through to the last 32 stages with wins over Ahmad Taufiq and Tony Drago. There he beat Taiwan’s Kuo Po Cheng before whitewashing Daryl Peach in the last 16.

The quarter-final saw him take revenge over Charlie Williams before disposing of Oliver Ortmann in the last four.

Both players greeted the crowd as they were introduced to the arena and Orcollo looked set to take the first but left a green 6 ball wobbling which cost him the rack and Kuribayashi broke and ran the second to go into a 2-0 lead.

Orcollo had ball in hand in the third and converted it well to get on the scoreboard before he made an error in the next as he scratched, playing a safety and Kuribayashi made him pay to lead 3-1.

Kuribayashi looked in good shape in the next but lack of pace on the cue ball meant his run broke down. They exchanged safeties on the pink 4 before an attempted bank from Kuribayashi failed and Orcollo ran the rack to get to 2-3.

There was ball in hand opportunity in the next for Orcollo as Kuribayashi scratched making a jump shot and the Filipino converted his chance to level things at 3-3.

Kuribayashi left the 3 ball hanging over the pocket after an attempted safety and Orcollo dished up to take the lead for the first time and increased his lead to 5-3 in the next with a break and run.

Orcollo began to find his groove in the ninth game as he ran out his second consecutive rack to put some space between himself and Kuribayashi as the score went to 6-3. More great play from Orcollo put him on the hill at 7-3.

In fitting style, Orcollo ran out what was the final rack to win 8-3 and claim the title of 2010 PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters champion.

“I was worried when I missed the 6 ball (in the first rack) and it was unexpected but sometimes that can happen.

“After that I knew he (Kuribayashi) would be feeling confident because I had made a mistake but I was still hoping to get another chance and get back some momentum.

“The tournament is short races and if you lose one rack you could then be out. It’s a big difference to money games as if you lose a rack there then you have a chance of making a game again,” said Orcollo afterwards.

“In a money game it might not matter if you play badly at the beginning you can still recover but in a tournament if you start badly you may lose.

“This is great news for the Philippines and many people have followed this competition in my country and they will be celebrating. I would love to bring this competition to my country.”

The Final

Dennis Orcollo (PHI) 8-3 Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)

Winner receives $20,000, runner-up $10,000

Semi-Final Results

Dennis Orcollo (PHI) 8-6 Roberto Gomez (PHI)

Oliver Ortmann (GER) 3-8 Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)

Losers Receive $5,000

Earlier, Orcollo had beaten compatriot Roberto ‘Superman’ Gomez 8-6 to secure his berth in the final.  It was a high quality encounter and after 12 racks they were tied up at six apiece.

It was anyone’s but went in Orcollo’s favour as he edged the final two racks to make his second Matchroom Sport pool final, following his World Pool League victory in Poland in 2006.

In the other semi-final, Kuribayashi put on a display of shot-making and power breaking to beat Germany’s Oliver Ortmann. Playing fluently throughout, the young Japanese came with all the shots when required to seal an 8-3 win.

It was a great performance from Ortmann though in reaching the semi-finals and he is still a force to be reckoned with on a major stage.


Masters Goes to Final Four

Two Filipinos, a German and a Japanese Vying for Title

64 CAME but only four remain as the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas reaches its conclusion tonight with two semi-finals and the final.

The first is an all-Pinoy affair between Dennis Orcollo and Roberto Gomez, while the other features two players who won through to Vegas via the Masters extensive qualifying system – Germany’s Oliver Ortmann and Toru Kuribayashi of Japan.

In the first match of the afternoon session, Roberto Gomez established a 6-1 lead over Ralf Souquet with some free-wheeling break and run pool. An illegal break from Souquet in the third game when the score stood at 1-1 cost him dearly as Gomez took the score to 4-1 without his opponent leaving his chair.

That soon moved to 6-1 before Souquet got back into it, winning the next two to take the score to 3-6. The German was running out in the next but ran out of position going from 8 to 9 and a tentative attempt with the rest left the 9 hanging and Gomez moved to the hill at 7-4.

Souquet won a couple more but it was Gomez match as won the 13th game to reach the semi-final where he faces Dennis Orcollo.

“I’m so happy to win as I’ve beaten the best player here. He is the best player because he is so consistent. He never changes as I was on seven racks but he was always there.

“He’s as scary an opponent as you can get as he has a poker face but I really feel good to win.

“Dennis Orcollo is very tough but if I can play well then I can beat anyone. I normally beat Dennis but in money games he gives me a little weight. But in tournaments we’ve played four times and I’ve won three times and he has won once.”

The second match saw young Japanese lad Toru Kuribayashi continue on his fairy tale run in Vegas. He qualified for this event in March in Yokohama, Japan and has never before competed on the international stage.

His opponent Charlie Williams put in a dogged performance but Kuribayashi’s break was always his most potent weapon as he took the match 8-6.

That was also the scoreline in the final match of the session as 2004 Masters runner-up Oliver Ortmann won the all German battle against two-time Masters winner Thomas Engert. Again, it was a close fought encounter but the veteran Ortmann, who won the final two racks to win by an 8-6 scoreline.

“We both didn’t play well. When I was up 3-1 I missed an easy ball and I thought that might change the whole match. He came back to 3-3 and it was a totally new match.

“It was my worst match of the tournament but I can be happy that I won.

“I’m in the semi-final and I will try to not think about the past. You have good and bad matches but playing in the semi-finals of the World Pool Masters is a dream and I will try to do my best.

“Sometimes it’s better if you have a bad match coming up for the semi-finals instead of having a good match before.

“I’m just trying to concentrate on my own game. Every day the confidence is different and the feeling of the body is different so I hope tonight will change a bit.”

Play continues this evening with the two semi-finals followed by the final. All matches are race to 8, winner breaks.

Dennis Orcollo (PHI) v Roberto Gomez (PHI)

Oliver Ortmann (GER) v Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)

Quarter-Final Results

Ralf Souquet (GER) 5-8 Roberto Gomez (PHI)

Charlie Williams (USA) 6-8 Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)

Thomas Engert (GER) 6-8 Oliver Ortmann (GER)


Orcollo First Man Through to Semis

ACTION CONTINUED at the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas as the final two quarter-finalists were determined and Dennis Orcollo became the first player to reach the semi-finals.

The standard of play was high throughout and in the opening match of the evening, Thomas Engert defeated Rodney Morris 8-5 to leave Charlie Williams the sole remaining US hope in the event. Engert, a two-time winner of this event in 2004 and 2007, clearly has the Masters mojo as he looked very comfortable throughout.

“That was the first time I’ve played well in this tournament. I broke well and the balls were on my side,” said Engert.

“Sometimes it wasn’t easy to run out – it’s never easy to run out against Rodney – but I took my chances. It was a good match for both of us.

“Last year I played maybe seven or eight tournaments and that’s not enough. But now I’m playing on the Euro Tour and here and getting some momentum.

“Every time I play I feel better at the table and felt much better than at the first match. I’m not thinking about winning it yet. Everyone wants to win and in pool you have to wait for your chances.”

There was another guaranteed German in the quarter-finals as former World Champions Oliver Ortmann and Thorsten Hohmann squared off and it was 1996 WPC champ Ortmann who proved superior.

It was an excellent show from Ortmann who came from 4-1 down to complete an outstanding 8-6 victory.

“I didn’t do anything wrong but I was down 2-1 and then 4-1, but I just tried to concentrate on my own game and I was playing ok so that was the point of the match. I took my chances and was happy to do so,” said Ortmann.

“At the end of the day the victory was right as I was playing good and he was a bit lucky.

“I’m focused and feeling pretty confident. I’m just trying to do what I can and I feel really confident at the moment.

“I’ve played well against Darren Appleton, well against Bustamante and well here and I definitely have a chance to win the tournament.

“Thomas Engert played great against Rodney Morris so it’s going to be a tough match but I think I will have my chances.”

In the final match of the evening, Dennis Orcollo continued his rich vein of form as he overcame Canada’s John Morra 8-3 to book his semi-final spot.

Morra didn’t have that many opportunities but Orcollo will be hard to stop as he chases his first Masters crown.

“I played really well and I did everything. I won the first four games and I felt comfortable every time as I always had a shot. I had a lot of chances to clinch the game so I did.

“It was the same type of performance as in the other matches – I didn’t change my game so the momentum was always there. I was always thinking positively and my mind was focused.

“The competition is really great and the World Pool Masters is a wonderful event with so many top players so it’s been very hard to go into the semi-finals.”

Play continues on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday Evening Results

Round Three

Rodney Morris (USA) 5 – 8 Thomas Engert (GER)

Oliver Ortmann (GER) 8-6 Thorsten Hohmann (GER)

Quarter-Final

Dennis Orcollo (PHI) 8-3 John Morra (CAN)

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.

Working in conjunction with  Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.

The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com, +44 7785 395688

http://www.matchroompool.com/page/WorldPoolMasters/Home

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 nine sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Pool Masters is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup.

The 2010 World Pool Masters is sponsored by PartyPoker.net. Tables are supplied by Brunswick Billiards, cloth by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc and the Official Cue is Predator.


Masters Action Hots Up

Wins for Gomez, Williams and Kuribayashi

THERE WERE THREE further Round 3 matches at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas as the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters reached its penultimate day. With all-round play rising to a high standard, there were wins for Charlie Williams, Roberto Gomez and Toru Kuribayashi.

In the opening game, Scottish qualifier Jayson Shaw made a few too many mistakes for a player of Roberto Gomez’s standard and the Filipino joins compatriot Dennis Orcollo in the quarter-finals.

Shaw lost the initiative in the third game as he made an elementary error going from 6 to the 8, as he left the cue ball behind the 9 ball. That handed the rack to Gomez for 2-1 and another shocker, scratching when the run out was elementary. It was a choker for the young Scot as Gomez increased his lead to 3-1.

A run out in the next increased his lead, but Gomez tried a Bustamante-style ‘behind the back’ shot instead of using the bridge and completely miscued. He made contact with the 6 ball but failed to reach a rail.

With ball in hand, Shaw took full advantage and he ran the next following a decent break to get to within one rack of Gomez at 4-3. A missed pink 4 down the rail, though down the rail, let the Filipino back in and he increased his lead to 5-3.

From there it was all Gomez as he took the last three racks to seal the win and move into the quarter-finals where he faces a tough one in Ralf Souquet.

“I played good – maybe I would give myself seven or eight out of ten. My shot (behind the back that caused a ) it happened at exactly the same time as the shot clock warning bell ringing and I just hit it badly,” said Gomez.

“But I just forget about everything I had done wrong as it would destroy your game if you are thinking about your mistakes.

“He had a lot of chance but missed them and that gave me courage to grab the chances. Playing Ralf Souquet will be a great match and I have to prepare well. I’ve played him once in Taiwan and I won.

“But everyone is confident of winning this tournament and everyone here is a master.”

In the second match of the afternoon, Charlie Williams looked the business as disposed of entertaining Japanese player Naoyuki Oi, coming from 4-1 down to win 8-5.

Having been used to race to 9 matches in the first two rounds, Williams assumed that this match was race to 9 also and returned to his chair after potting what was the case 9 ball.

Referee Nigel Rees had to tell the American that he had indeed won the match, much to his pleasure.

“That was a big win for me and I’m pleased to get in the last eight. Now I’m in the championship ring and it looks a bit easier,” said Williams.

“Oi is a very aggressive player so I knew he would come at me. I thought I had got here early enough to practise but I didn’t so I hadn’t hit one ball in practise today.

“The first shot I hit was actually in the game and it showed as I made some early mistakes but it’s my fault as I should’ve been here at 2pm.

“At 4-1 Oi was playing good but I didn’t give up and just tried to work it back one frame at a time.

“Being 4-1 down it wasn’t looking good at all but I figured out the break quicker that he did and that gave me some momentum.

“At the end I didn’t know it was a race to eight. Nigel looked at me and someone jumped up and I thought I’d committed a foul!”

In the final match of the afternoon, Japanese qualifier Toru Kuribayashi looked a million dollars as he mastered the break superbly to record an 8-0 whitewash over England’s Daryl Peach.

Making two and three balls at a time and leaving easy run outs, Kuribayashi left Peach seated for most of the match and the young Japanese looks a massive dark horse for the title.  He now plays Charlie Williams in the next round.

“I played really well and I am really happy with my performance. If I keep playing like that then I know I can win the tournament,” said the Japanese.

Play continues this evening.

Saturday Afternoon – Results

Roberto Gomez (PHI) 8-3 Jayson Shaw (SCO)

Naoyuki Oi (JAP) 5-8 Charlie Williams (USA)

Daryl Peach (ENG) 0-8 Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)

Saturday Evening Matches

Round Three

Rodney Morris (USA) v Thomas Engert (GER)

Oliver Ortmann (GER) v Thorsten Hohmann (GER)

Quarter-Final

Dennis Orcollo (PHI) v John Morra (CAN)

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.

Working in conjunction with  Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.

The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com, +44 7785 395688

http://www.matchroompool.com/page/WorldPoolMasters/Home

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 nine sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Pool Masters is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup.

The 2010 World Pool Masters is sponsored by PartyPoker.net. Tables are supplied by Brunswick Billiards, cloth by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc and the Official Cue is Predator.

World Pool Masters Final 16

Masters Down to Last 16

Event Moves to TV Arena Tonight

KNOCK OUT ACTION continued at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas as the last 32 players in the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters became just 16 as the event prepared to move to the single table TV setting.

With players eliminated in the first two days of competition reading like a who’s who of pool, there are still a host of big names left in the event, a testimony to the immense strength of the field.

Defending champion Darren Appleton saw his hopes of a repeat win dashed as Germany’s seasoned veteran Oliver Ortmann overturned large deficits coming from 7-4 down to take their match 9-7 and set up a last 16 clash with countryman Thorsten Hohmann, who had earlier beaten remaining Dutch hope Niels Feijen.

“I played pretty well and got a bit lucky. I broke very well though and I’m pleased to progress,” said Ortmann.

Young Scotsman Jayson Shaw, a 21 year-old from Glasgow, continued his giant killing act as he dumped Dennis Hatch out of the competition to set up a last 16 clash with Roberto Gomez who had earlier beaten Huidji See of Holland.

“Reaching the last 16 is probably my greatest achievement in pool. I’ve played in the IPT but this had topped it,” said Shaw.

“I’ve been playing pretty good and won a few things at 9-ball so I thought if I get my chances I can take them. I’m just as good as anybody when I get among the balls.

“A lot of people didn’t know me but I’ve beaten Lee Van Corteza and Dennis Hatch, the MVP at the Mosconi Cup so I’m just over the moon.”

Winning his second consecutive hill-hill match, Floridian John Schmidt, the 2006 US Open Champion moves onto the last 16 where he playsJohn Morra. After Lee Van Corteza yesterday it was Jason Klatt of Canada who fell at the final hurdle.

“It was very tough. I lost my break the entire set apart from the last game. Jason was hooking me and running out so he played great. I haven’t figured out the break at all.

“This is one of the toughest tournaments I’ve ever been in and I’ve seen eight world champions not even get into the money stage.

“The way I’m breaking I don’t like my chances and maybe that will change but I will have to go with the cut break,” said Schmidt.

The first match to be played in the last 16 this evening features 2005 champion Raj Hundal against the Philippines highly dangerous Dennis Orcollo.  Hundal defeated Ernesto Dominguez while Orcollo put paid to Marcus Chamat’s hopes.

“It’s tough for everyone and you saw that in the qualifiers where you had Mika v Ralf and that’s normally a semi-final,” said Hundal.

“You have great players everywhere and there’s not a soft draw. Even the lady players are capable of beating everyone so for me this is the tougher than a World Championship.

“A lot of great players went out 2-0 so to get into the last 16 is an achievement. I’ve playing better than ever, am focused and coming in off a good win in Sweden so I know what heart it takes.”

Still reigning World 9 Ball Champion Daryl Peach came through after beating countryman and World 8 Ball winner Karl Boyes by 9-4. Both players hail from Blackpool, England it Peach now faces Japanese qualifier Toru Kuribayashi.

“It was a big match for both of us and it was a mega tough field and a tough draw with a fellow Englishman,” said Peach.

“So there was a bit of added pressure and you try to block it out but sometimes you can’t. I can definitely win and at the end of the day I’ve won the World Championship. I’ve also won two out of four on the Euro Tour and won two out of two GB9 events.

“I’ve beaten Efren Reyes 9-6 to qualify for the last 32 and now the wheels are starting to turn,” added an ominous sounding Peach.

Rodney Morris looks to be finding a gear as he defeated England’s solid Mark Gray but he will have his work cut out in the last 16 as he faces two-time Masters Champion Thomas Engert who eliminated Johnny Archer from the competition.

“It was a horrible match! Normally if I had these chances I would’ve lead 5-0 but it was only 3-2. I missed so many chances but then I played a bit better but I was struggling but that’s what you have to do to get into the tournament.

“I’m happy to be there in the last 16 and it was a good result but it should’ve been more. I practise a lot at home but in the last year I haven’t played many tournaments.

“I have to play more matches and tournaments but I’m fighting hard.”

Last 32 – Results

Raj Hundal (IND) 9-6 Ernesto Dominguez (USA)

Marcus Chamat (SWE) 7-9 Dennis Orcollo (PHI)

Rafael Martinez (MEX) 7-9 John Morra (CAN)

John Schmidt (USA) 9-8 Jason Klatt (CAN)

Stevie Moore (USA) 8-9 Ricky Yang (INA)

Do Hoang Quan (VIE) 7-9 Ralf Souquet (GER)

Dennis Hatch (USA) 5-9 Jayson Shaw (SCO)

Roberto Gomez (PHI) 9-4 Huidji See (NED)

Naoyuki Oi (JAP) 9-5 Evgeni Novosad (UKR)

Lo Li-Wen (TPE) 8-9 Charlie Williams (USA)

Karl Boyes (ENG) 4-9 Daryl Peach (ENG)

Kuo Po Cheng (TPE) 3-9 Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)

Rodney Morris (USA) 9-7 Mark Gray (ENG)

Thomas Engert (GER) 9-6 Johnny Archer (USA)

Darren Appleton (ENG) 7-9 Oliver Ortmann (GER)

Thorsten Hohmann (GER) 9-5 Niels Feijen (NED)

Friday Night Last 16 Matches

Raj Hundal (IND) v Dennis Orcollo (PHI)

John Morra (CAN) v John Schmidt (USA)

Ricky Yang (INA) v Ralf Souquet (GER)

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.

Working in conjunction with Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.

The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com, +44 7785 395688

http://www.matchroompool.com/page/WorldPoolMasters/Home

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 nine sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Pool Masters is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup.

The 2010 World Pool Masters is sponsored by PartyPoker.net. Tables are supplied by Brunswick Billiards, cloth by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc and the Official Cue is Predator.


Masters Down to Last 32

Super Strong Field is Survival of the Fittest

Rodney Morris

THE FIELD of the 2010 PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters has halved after two days of play as 32 have left the competition and the remaining 32 reconvene at midday Friday to scrap it out as the event moves to single elimination.

Described by witnesses as arguably the strongest 64 player line-up assembled in recent times, the Masters has proved a brutal school with world-class match-ups coming thick and fast. The opening round saw 64 players divided into eight groups of eight players playing in double elimination.

All matches in the Masters in the opening round were race to nine, winner breaks, with the action taking at the Convention Centre at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

The ‘two and through’ players in Group 6 were defending champion Darren Appleton who beat the Asian pair of Yu Ram Cha and then Ricky Yang to progress, and then Marcus Chamat. The diminutive Swede beat qualifier Manny Chau and then claimed a superb 9-8 win over Dennis Orcollo, which included a miscue on the final 8 which left a severely testing 9 ball.

Both Orcollo and Yang also made the last 32 via the one loss side

In Group 6, two American players went through via the winners’ side as US Open champions John Schmidt and Rodney Morris put on excellent displays. ‘Mr 400’ beat Belgian qualifier Noel Bruynooghe and survived a hill-hill thriller against Lee Van Corteza of the Philippines.

Morris beat Scottish youngster Jayson Shaw and then beat compatriot Johnny Archer to seal his own fete but both Shaw and Archer went through on the one-loss side, with the Scot recording a particularly impressive win to knock out Corteza.

Stevie Moore

A focused Stevie Moore was the first player to make progress in Group 7 as he beat the UK based pair of Imran Majid and then Tony Drago. Moore was joined by Thomas Engert who got the better of Charlie Williams in another hill-hill match.

Williams though stepped up a gear in the final match on the one loss side as he put Majid out of the competition, 9-3. Joining him will be stylish Japanese qualifier Toru Kuribayashi who put paid to former Masters champ Tony Drago’s Vegas dream.

Finally in a strong Group 8, recently crowned World 8 Ball king Karl Boyes beat Ernesto Dominguez and Ralf Souquet to advance and was joined by unknown Taiwanese Lo Li-wen who beat Mika Immonen and then Karen Corr.

Souquet made up for his defeat to Boyes by recording only the second 9-0 of the competition as he ran six racks on tough Brunswick equipment to put Mika Immonen out of the competition. Veteran Ernesto Dominguez made up for family disappointment yesterday as he beat Karen Corr 9-3 to take the final spot.

The last 32 matches are single elimination race to 9 and matches start at 12 noon tomorrow.

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.

Working in conjunction with Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.

The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com, +44 7785 395688

www.matchroompool.com

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 nine sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Pool Masters is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup.

The 2010 World Pool Masters is sponsored by PartyPoker.net. Tables are supplied by Brunswick Billiards, cloth by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc and the Official Cue is Predator.


Masters Underway in Vegas

Big Names Tumble on Day of Shocks

(photo: Thorsten Hohmann)

PLAY HAS concluded on the first day of the 2010 PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters as 16 players have made their way through to Friday’s round of 32 and a further 16 have been eliminated from the completion.

Separated into eight groups of eight players competing in double elimination competition, four groups competed today and top of the seeding for the straight knock out stages of the event.

There were plenty of big name casualties who fell by the wayside on a day when the strength in depth of field shone through. Those who fell at the first hurdle included Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante, Shane Van Boening, Corey Deuel, Oscar Dominguez and Earl Strickland.

Straight out of the traps in Group 1 were 2005 Masters champion Raj Hundal and Mexico’s Rafael Martinez, who took the final qualifying spot at Pool Sharks yesterday. The wily old campaigner took out American qualifier David Grau and Evgeni Novosad (Ukriane) to reach the money stages.

Hundal made light work of Korea’s Ga Young Kim and then Jason Klatt to book his spot. The one-loss side of this group saw the young Novosad win through in what was a great day for Ukrainian pool, and the final spot went to Canadian qualifier Jason Klatt who bumped Shane Van Boening out of the competition by a 9-5 scoreline on the one-loss side.

All matches in the Masters are race to nine, winner breaks, with the action taking at the Convention Centre at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

In Group 2 it was the Philippines’ powerful Roberto Gomez who beat Earl Strickland and Huijdi See to go through. Dutch qualifier See, though, redeemed the situation with a win over Allison Fisher, which together with an earlier 9-8 victory over Niels Feijen, saw him through. Feijen recovered though, as he beat Ko Pin-yi to win through to Friday.

The other winners’ side victor was 2005 World Pool Championship runner-up Kuo Po-cheng who secured his spot with wins over Oscar Dominguez and countryman Ko Pin-yi

Thorsten Hohmann and Dennis Hatch were the two who went undefeated through Group 3 and they now take their place in Friday’s last 32. Hohmann was in fact, the first player to make it as he posted wins over Radoslaw Babica and Efren Reyes to progress.

Hatch held wins over Norwegian qualifier Tron Engebaak and Morra to secure his spot. On the losers’ side Canada’s Morra won through at the expense of Radoslaw Babica, while 2007 World Champion Daryl Peach sent Efren Reyes crashing out of the competition.

Finally in Group 4, two lesser known Asian players shone through as Naoyuki Oi (Japan) and Vietnam’s unknown Do Hong Quan won two from two to qualify. Quan, who won through a qualifying event in Malaysia a few weeks ago, beat Francisco Bustamante and Tyler Edey to make it probably the best day of his pool playing career.

Oi, who is one of the game’s more colourful characters, took down England’s Mark Gray and Oliver Ortmann of Germany to advance. The German, however, recovered to knock Bustamante out of the event to progress. Gray too regrouped as he got the better of Tyler Edey in a do-or-die encounter.

Play continues tomorrow (Thursday) with Groups 5 to 8 playing their matches. After that the Masters moves to single elimination with the round of 32 taking place on Friday 14th and then the event goes to the TV stages on Friday evening and the weekend.

After 17 years as a 16-player invitational competition, the Masters, one of the longest established tournaments in pool, will now feature 64 players and take place over five days instead of three.

Working in conjunction with Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

Seven previous winners – Ralf Souquet, Daryl Peach, Francisco Bustamante, Tony Drago, Raj Hundal, Alex Pagulayan and defending champion Darren Appleton – are among the players invited.

Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.

The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com, +44 7785 395688

www.matchroompool.com

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 nine sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Pool Masters is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup.

The 2010 World Pool Masters is sponsored by PartyPoker.net. Tables are supplied by Brunswick Billiards, cloth by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc and the Official Cue is Predator.