First Three Matches Complete at World Pool Masters

World Pool Masters / Las Vegas, NV
by InsidePOOL Staff
The PartyPoker.Net World Pool Masters, presented by Matchroom Sport and sponsored by Brunswick, Aramith, Iwan Simonis, and Predator Products, kicked off the afternoon of May 9 with its first three matches. This international event brings a top field of 16 players from around the world to vie for the first-place prize of $20,000 and is hosted by the Riviera Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
In the first match, defending champion Thomas “The Lean Machine” Engert was matched up with Rodney Morris, currently of Houston, TX. The score seesawed to 2-all before Morris made his move, breaking and running out two of the next three racks to surge ahead 5-2. A couple of odd misses by Engert gave Morris the hill, and then the German made a move toward a comeback, taking the next rack after an empty break by Morris. But it was too little, too late for Engert, for when he missed a routine 8 ball in the final rack, “Rocket” won 8-3.
Former world champ Alex Pagulayan squeaked past snooker champion Mark Gray in the second match. “The Lion” took the first three racks with ease but did not reckon on his opponent putting up a fight, for Gray took advantage of several missed shots by Pagulayan to take control and win the next five racks in a row to make it 5-3 in his favor. They traded the next several racks, and then a foul by Gray made the score 6-all. A missed 6-9 combo by Gray gave Pagulayan the hill, but when Pagulayan fouled in the subsequent rack, brushing the 7 ball en route to the 4, Gray made it a double-hill nail-biter. Attempting to kick out of a safety on the 2 ball in the last rack, Gray fouled, giving Pagulayan ball in hand and the match.
View the 2008 World Pool Masters image gallery (/gallery2/v/Pool+Tournaments/world-pool-master-2008/)
Italian champion Bruno Muratore didn’t get much time at the table in the third match of the afternoon. His opponent, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, took the first game with a 3-9 carom and raced toward the finish line from there. One missed 9 ball and one foul by Muratore, in addition to two break and runs by Bustamante, made the score 5-0. In the seventh rack, Muratore managed to put a game under his belt when Bustamante fouled on the 1 ball, leaving Muratore with ball in hand for the 1-9 combo. But that was as far as Muratore got—he came up empty on his next break and Bustamante ran out, and another foul in the final rack handed Bustamante the match 8-1.
Saturday’s afternoon matches will be Shane Van Boening versus Imran Majid, Ralf Souquet versus Ko Pin-yi, and Tony Drago versus Niels Feijen.
Tonight, instead of more World Pool Masters matches, the World Pool Masters Trickshot event will take place, featuring Mark Dimick, Alex Pagulayan, Daryl Peach, Stefano Pelinga, Ralf Souquet, and Bogdan Wolkowski. Visit InsidePOOL for the latest news in the sport of billiards and pool.