Niels Feijen (HOL) 8-0 Mika Immonen (FIN)
Chang Jung-lin (TPE) 8-3 Nick Ekonomopoulos (GRE)
Darren Appleton (ENG) 8-3 Shane Van Boening (USA)
THE SEMI-FINALS of the PartyPoker World Pool Masters will be between Alex Pagulayan and Niels Feijen and then Chang Jung-lin and Darren Appleton as the star studded invitational event reaches its thrilling climax at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday evening.
The Sunday afternoon session saw the three remaining quarter-finals take place and the opener saw two of Europe’s big guns at this year’s Mosconi Cup face off as Mika Immonen and Niels Feijen took to the arena at the Metrodome. It was the Dutchman who got off to a flyer as he won the lag and took the opening four racks, not missing anything along the way.
Immonen finally took to the table in the fifth to make a safety and Feijen followed suit. They traded high quality safeties before a kick from Immonen left the 1 ball over the top corner pocket and Niels wasted no time in running out.
Another break and run took the score to 6-0 and the Finn needed a miracle. Feijen won the next and when Immonen scratched making a one rail escape, it just about summed up his afternoon. The match ended without the final 9 ball dropping as the Finn unscrewed his cue called it a day.
Commented Feijen, “I am delighted as Mika is not an easy opponent but my safeties were good, I was executing well, running out well, and I didn’t give him a chance. That is what you have to do at this level or they will do it to you.
“I was 4-0 up but I knew if I gave him any air he would come back to make it 4-4. I had to keep putting the heat on him, breaking well and executing well, and that is what I did.
“I practiced the break a little bit yesterday and my timing was better. I was getting shots, especially in the second half of the match. In the last rack I didn’t get a shot but I put a good safety on him and that sealed the game. “
Immonen was bitterly disappointed after playing around half a dozen shots in the entire match: “I don’t know what to say, I never had an open shot. He got a little bit lucky with some breaks and it is beyond frustrating.
“He got away with some nip and tuck there but he played brilliantly, was breaking well. This is the worst match of my career probably. I didn’t play badly but it was the worst lack of opportunities. “
Chang Jung-lin of Taiwan booked his berth in the semi-finals as he beat Nick Ekonomopoulos 8-3. The tall Taiwanese, a World 8 Ball champion last year, looked in control in the latter half of the match as he lead 3-2 and then 5-3.
Ekonomopoulos had a chance to get within one but made a bad miss and from there Chang coasted away to take an 8-3 victory.
“I played good and I’m very excited about my chances. I’ll need a bit of luck along the way but I think I’ve got a good chance.”
Nick added, “I didn’t break well and in a race to 8 with winner breaks, that makes it difficult. I missed an easy ball to get to 5-4 when it was 5-3 and that was it. He played well though so full credit to him.”
The final last eight match saw a real clash of the titans as Shane Van Boening and Darren Appleton squared off in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Barnsley Metrodome.
Appleton started reeling off the racks and in a short space of time found himself 6-0 up with Van Boening’s table time non-existent. However, when Appleton missed a tricky 3/9 combo and left it on for the American, there was a glimmer of light.
Van Boening swiftly broke and ran the next to leave the Yorkshireman looking uneasy in his chair and when he did the same in the next the atmosphere in the arena shifted. Van Boening though hugely overran getting position on the 3 ball, and left the white jawed in the corner pocket. He attempted to swerve his way out but missed the object ball.
Appleton, with ball in hand, dished up to reach the hill at 7-3 and when he ran out the next, the home town crowd erupted.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better start, I broke really well in the game, it is the best I cued the ball for maybe two years,” said Appleton.
“I felt totally in control of what I was doing. I was really focused, every shot I felt that I wasn’t going to miss. It is very rare that you go out there and play for absolute best and have that feeling of total control. Every difficult shot, I knew I was going to make it.
“I only slept three or four hours last night but the adrenaline took over and I didn’t feel tired at all. I was hitting the ball badly in practice before the match but when I got to the arena I felt really pumped up and something clicked,” he added.
This is the 21st annual running of the PartyPoker.com World Pool Masters following its inaugural event in 1993. Some of the greatest players in the modern era of pool have won this title including the likes of Souquet, Strickland, Orcollo and Appleton. With a field of 16 players there are 15 matches in total – all race to eight racks and culminating in the final on the Sunday evening.
Play continues at 6.00pm with two semi-finals followed by the final.
Alex Pagulayan (CAN) v Niels Feijen (HOL)
Chang Jung-lin (TPE) v Darren Appleton (ENG)
The 2013 PARTYPOKER.COM World Pool Masters is sponsored by PartyPoker.com, the world’s leading online poker site. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith. Diamond is the supplier of the Official Table and Predator is the Official Cue.
Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: email@example.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 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.