Former Billiard Champions Strut Their Stuff
With a further four billiards groups in action through Sunday, three former champions have made it through to the last 64 with impressive wins. Played out over nine days with a $400,000 prize fund, the 2007 Philippines World Pool Championship is taking place at the Araneta Coliseum, Manila with 128 players from 46 countries vying for honors.
Finland’s Mika Immonen (pictured right), winner in 2001, battered Fahad Mohammadi of Qatar 9-3 in his opening match as he snapped off the last six racks. He followed that up with a hard fought 9-6 win over former US Open champion Jeremy Jones to secure his last 64 berth.
Filipino Alex Pagulayan, who claimed this title in 2004 in Taipei, scored two comfortable wins to go through to Wednesday�s straight knock-out round two. He beat Hamsa Mohammed, the first Eritrean player ever to compete in the World Pool Championship 9-0, and then took care of Austria�s Martin Kempter 9-6.
With a double elimination format in operation for the first round of the competition, players are required to win two matches to advance while two defeats means an early exit.
Finally, Oliver Ortmann, who took this title in 1996, looked every inch the contender this year. He beat Vietnamese Pham Tuan Ngoc by an over-whelming 9-1 score line and then put American Corey Deuel�s championship future in doubt with a top drawer 9-6 win.
Play continues on Sunday evening as 16 more players make their way through to the next round.