Wins for Mika, Alex and Chang
Mika Immonen (FIN) 8-6 Efren Reyes (PHI)
Alex Pagulayan (CAN) 8-2 Ga Young Kim (KOR)
Chang Jung-lin (TPE) 8-6 Daryl Peach (ENG)
THREE MORE matches took place this afternoon at the Barnsley Metrodome as the opening round of the 2013 PartyPoker World Pool Masters continued. There were wins for Finland, Canada and Taiwan as Mika Immonen, Alex Pagulayan and Chang Jung-lin all enjoyed victories.
There are two more first round matches to take place this evening in the three day $66,000 event but the final match of the session saw an England v Taiwan clash as Blackpool’s Daryl Peach met Chang Jung-lin, the 2012 World 8 Ball Champion and it ended in a close victory for the Taiwanese after he clawed back a big deficit.
Peach, a winner of this event in 1995, recovered from a poor start to move into 5-2 lead before Chang took the next two to set up a close finish. The Taiwanese though made an illegal break and although Peach pocketed the lowest ball, he broke down and Chang levelled the score at 5-5.
There was a safety exchange in the next before Peach played a superb trickshot as he found the cue ball locked against the 5 on the rail. He jacked the cue up and played a proper masse that pocketed the orange 5 up table, screwed back to pocket the 8 and moved the 9 ball out and away from the rail.
He completed the table to take a 6-5 lead and gave himself a chance with his next break. He went through the balls but made a poor error as he scratched, moving the cue ball down table for the 8 and 9.
It was to prove a critical mistake as Chang made it 6-6 and he took the next to reach the hill with a clinical break and run. A decent break in the next wrapped it up for the Taiwanese as he completed an 8-6 victory.
“When I was 2-0 up, I thought it could be an easy match, but that soon changed,” said Chang.
“In the end I was sitting there thinking the match was over and I wouldn’t get another shot but I had a good slice of luck and thought that this was my chance.”
A disappointed Peach said, “At the start of the match I was playing well and things were going my way and Chang was struggling with the break a little bit as well. I felt confident but it only took a couple of silly shots and the match swung around. That is pool for you.”
In the first match of the Saturday afternoon session, Mika Immonen won an entertaining match against Efren Reyes, who proved a hit with the big Barnsley crowd. It was the Finn who got off to a good start as he took the opening two racks but Reyes took the third and fourth.
Reyes is a wily old campaigner who is still highly dangerous and he moved into a 4-2 lead, as he shook off any effects of jet lag, and came up with some creative shots which pleased the crowd. Immonen though got to the table in the next and ran out and then did the same in the next to square it up at 4-4.
They shared the next two before Reyes dropped two balls on the break but had no available pot on the 1 ball. He pushed out but Immonen put him back in but his safety attempt left the 1 ball on. The Finn cleared to take a 6-5 lead and took the next shortly after.
The Filipino got back to the table in the next but again left the 2 ball on as he started to look a little ragged. Immonen though couldn’t convert the chance and Reyes took advantage to get within one rack at 7-6. He scratched on the break in the next as the cue ball rolled into the side pocket and Immonen cleared the table for a deserved win.
Immonen said afterwards, “He is a legend and I was a little bit nervous at the beginning. You don’t want to get into a safety battle with him because he seems to get out of jail every time – it doesn’t matter where the cue ball lands, he seems to have a solution.
“My strategy was to break and run but I wasn’t really breaking well so it turned into a shooting contest a little bit, a back and forth battle. He is a legend and that is always in the back of your mind.”
In the clash of the sexes, Ga Young Kim of Korea, one of the most titled female players of recent times, faced off against popular favourite Alex Pagulayan and it was the Canadian who prevailed as Kim made too many errors to survive in such company.
The 30 year-old from Seoul though, got off to a flyer as she took the opening two racks and looked very stylish in the process. Pagulayan came back at her though as he took the next two and then kept Kim parked in her seat as he took the lead at 3-2.
That soon became 4-2 before the elegant Kim got back to the table but there was nothing on and Pagulayan ended up running out for 5-2. Kim looked cross with herself as she missed the pink 4 and then caught it on the way back to leave it out in the open. The Lion cleared for 6-2.
Another miss by Kim, on the 4 ball after a superb jump shot to pocket 3 ball, let Pagulayan back in but Kim jumped out of the safety to pocket the 4. Another poor miss on the 7, which looked like it was caused by a bad connection, got Pagulayan back and he cleared to get to 7-2.
Kim looked visibly upset as she slumped in her chair but recovered to give Pagulayan a big smile as he made an excellent 2/9 carom to clinch the match.
A delighted Pagulayan said, “It was a tough match. At the beginning it looked like she would go all the way through, the way she was breaking and playing. I have known her for a long time and I know she is a very good player and she can be any one of us. It looks like I am playing well so hopefully I keep playing like this.”
Play continues this evening with the final two first round matches and then first of the quarter-finals.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.