2013 PartyPoker World Pool Masters
Shane and Dyno win as Pag takes first semi spot
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-4 Omar Al Shaheen (KUW)
Darren Appleton (ENG) 8-3 David Alcaide (ESP)
Alex Pagulayan (CAN) 8-4 Chris Melling (ENG)
THE BUSINESS end of the 2013 PartyPoker World Pool Masters is shaping up following the final two first round matches and the first of the quarter finals at the Metrodome in Barnsley on Saturday night. Darren Appleton and Shane Van Boening won through to the last eight, while Alex Pagulayan became the first player to reach the semi-finals.
The opening match of the evening saw Mosconi Cup star Shane Van Boening come through his opening match with a solid 8-4 win against young Kuwaiti Omar Al Shaheen. Van Boening, who won his third US Open title last week, was made to work for it but looked stronger in the closing stages.
Initially, it was a close match as first Al Shaheen and then Van Boening enjoyed leads but neither player dominated. The Middle Eastern player got the score to 5-4 which was as good as it got for him.
He couldn’t hold off Van Boening who took the next two racks to reach the hill. A decent break in the next spread the balls out nicely and the American star wasted no time in running out for a tidy victory.
“There was a bit of pressure and the first match is always tough because you don’t know how the table rolls,” said Van Boening.
“I broke well and got position on the one-ball every time. For my next match I will keep on practicing and try and get prepared for tomorrow.”
The final first round match was between former Masters winner Darren Appleton and Spain’s David Alcaide. Appleton, was born in Pontefract which is just up the road from the venue, and he was well supported in the stands.
The Englishman took the opener very quickly but Alcaide took the next three to put him under some pressure. That showed as he missed a long 2 ball but Alcaide’s attempt at a bank into the centre pocket failed and Appleton was happy to clear the table for 2-3.
He took the next for 3-3 and then took the lead at the halfway stage. A scratch off the break though got the Spaniard back to the table but he couldn’t cash in and it was Appleton who took the lead.
It was all one way traffic from there as the two-time US Open champion took the next three to reach the hill at 7-3. Appleton capped an excellent performance as he broke and ran the last for the win.
“I had a tough match and I have a lot of respect for David, who is probably one of the most under-rated players in the world, “ said Appleton.
“I was 3-1 down in the match and hadn’t done anything wrong. He was breaking well and it was key that when I got the break I didn’t give it up again. The turning point was that he didn’t have a shot after the break at 3-1, allowing me back to the table.
“I played a good safety on him and won that game to go 3-2. After that I broke well, always had control of the table, but I also got a few nice rolls with the safety. With the two chances he had he got a bit unlucky with a couple of bad kisses off balls.
“I have got a lot of support here. It is the first time ever my family and friends have got to see me play because we don’t get the opportunity to play in Yorkshire. It was great to have them here.”
The final match of the evening was the first of the four quarter finals and it was Alex Pagulayan who claimed the first spot in the last four with a win 8-4 over England’s Chris Melling.
Pagulayan won the opening rack with ball in hand as he got the better of a safety exchange. Melling collided with the 8 ball attempting a three rail escape from a snooker as he tried to reach the 4 ball up table.
A break and run in the second made it 2-0. Melling got to the table in the next and made an excellent pot on the 2 ball but couldn’t quite achieve position on the 3. They exchanged safeties before Melling made the 3 from a snookered position, going one rail.
It was a brilliant shot and he then set up his opponent in a snooker and when Pagulayan missed trying a one rail escape, Melling dished up with ball in hand. The comeback didn’t last long though as Pagulayan won the next two to make it 4-1.
Melling missed a slow cut on the 2 ball in the sixth and Pagulayan tied it up down table. They both had visits before Alex scratched playing safe and Melling took to rack to give himself a much needed boost.
Again though it was just the rack as Pagulayan took the next to make it 5-2 but Melling showed some grit to stay in it to take the game to 4-5. He scratched though in the tenth as the white just keep rolling and rolling when it seemed to have run out of puff.
Pagulayan ran out to move into a 6-4 lead and become heavy favourite in the race to 8 match. He made a ball on the next but played a strange shot on the 1 ball and left it over the middle pocket. Melling couldn’t capitalise though and it was Pagulayan who won the rack to leave him one away from victory at 7-4.
Melling wasn’t the player of yesterday and he messed up on the 1 ball to give the table back to Pagulayan and he ran out to reach the semi-finals of the PartyPoker World Pool Masters.
“I thought I was going to run him over because at the start I was playing well and breaking well but the next thing you know I couldn’t make a ball off the break and he started playing well and came back,” said Alex.
“One of the best parts of my game is safety, and Chris Melling will give you a good safety battle.
“He got a little bit unlucky when it was 6-4, it was hard to scratch from there – the pool gods were on my side. I will definitely be working on my break before the next match. “
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 1.00pm on Sunday 26th with the three remaining quarter-finals
Niels Feijen (HOL) v Mika Immonen (FIN)
Nick Ekonomopoulos (GRE) v Chang Jung-lin (TPE)
Shane Van Boening (USA) 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.