England 8-2 Thailand
Chinese Taipei 8-6 Japan
DARREN APPLETON and Chris Melling looked in top form as they steam-rollered last year’s runners-up Thailand 8-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool at Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila. It was a great performance from the Worlds No.1 and 5 and laid last year’s ghost to rest when they lost to Estonia in the first round. Nitiwat Kanjanasri and Kobkit Palajin had shocked a few teams last year before being derailed by Germany in the final, but they were no match for the English duo who shot into an early 3-0 lead.
The Thais were looking shaky and a poor miss in the fifth game from Palajin allowed England back in and they converted. The score moved to 4-1 when it should have been 3-2. That was the turning point and the English pair then ran away with the match and they will now play Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals. Commented Appleton: “We were nervous at the beginning but then they let us off the hook early with some shocking misses. I could tell they were nervous; Nitiwat was dripping in sweat before the match. “After he missed, that calmed us down. The races are so short they are really cutthroat, you just hope to get enough chances.” Melling added, “I was nervous at the start but sometimes it’s good to be nervous. I have a lot of respect for the Thais because I know they’re good. We’ve missed one ball in two matches so we’ve played well. I think we have a great chance.”
The 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 4 to Sunday, September 9 at Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila. Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions. Tickets for the extravaganza will be available at the venue on the day of play but with plentiful balconies offering superb views of the playing arena, organisers are anticipating crowds in the thousands rather than hundreds.
In the second match the young Chinese Taipei duo of Hsu Han-en and Chen Hsin-ting held off a brave Japanese fight back to run out 8-6 winners and book their quarter-final place against England. The Taiwanese kids, with a combined age of 37, won the qualifying event put on by the CTBA, and they appear to have come to Manila with one thing in mind. Even though there are more illustrious players currently operating in Taiwan, Hsu and Chen look every bit the part.
The Japanese pair of Naoyuki Oi and Satoshi Kawabata got off to a shocking start, finding themselves 3-0 and 5-1 down. However, they mounted a brave fight back, winning the next two and then following up with a couple of break and runs to level the score at 5-5. They share the next two before the Taiwanese reach the hill at 7-6 before a golden break seals the deal.
The 2012 PARTYPOKER.NET World Cup of Pool is sponsored by PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Diamond Billiards and the Official Cue is Predator.
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Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: email@example.com +44 7785 395688
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 sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.