Uphill Climb for Billiard Stars at World Team Pool Championship

By Ted Lerner

(Beijing, China)- The 2012 World Pool Team Championship has arrived at the business end of the proceedings as the field of 24 pool playing nations has been reduced down to 16 teams, who will now square off in single elimination matches in Beijing for the title.

It’s been a busy three days in China’s bustling capital but it didn’t take long to figure out that the top pool playing nations in the world would easily advance. The format has ensured almost no surprises at the top of the pool food chain, as the sheer amount of matches each team has played in each contest means the chances of surprise or lucky outcomes was just about zero.

Indeed the list of top seeds is a who’s who of the world’s best pool playing countries; Chinese-Taipei, China 2, the Philippines, China 1, Japan and Great Britain.

Chinese Taipei, led by a confident squad which includes World 8-ball champion Chang Jung Lin, Fu Che Wei, Ko Pin Yi, and two-time Amway Cup champion Chieh Yu Chou, outlasted a game German team today 4-2. Germany made it through to the final 16, but they are clearly being hampered by the lack of experience of their female player, Jasmin Michel.

The Philippines, with Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco Bustamante, Dennis Orcullo and Rubilen Amit, once again looked the goods as they brushed aside Croatia 5 – 1. The Philippines is employing a unique strategy in all their matches, putting the legend Reyes only in doubles matches, both the 8-ball and 10 ball. Expect the Pinoy team to continue down this path as they’ve barely been touched so far.

With the home town crowd cheering their every move, China 1 and China 2 both won their matches handily. China 1, with Li He Wen, Fu Jian Bo, Liu Haitao and females Fu Xiaofang and Pan Xiao Ting alternating, blanked Finland 6 – 0. China 2 took out Hong Kong 5-1.

world team pool Uphill Climb for Billiard Stars at World Team Pool Championship

The 2012 World Pool Team Championship has arrived at the business end of the proceedings as the field of 24 pool playing nations has been reduced down to 16 teams, who will now square off in single elimination matches in Beijing for the title.

Great Britain, one of the early favorites in this event had a tough tussle with South Korea today and the match ended in a tie, 3 – 3. South Korea is proving to be a very difficult team to conquer and they are perhaps the leading dark horse going into the knockout stage.

Japan also presents a very formidable squad but they lost today to a very inspired Sweden team, led by veteran Marcus Chamat. Sweden need to win their matchup with Japan to go through, and they fought back from a 2 – 0 deficit and took the last four matches to win 4 -2 and advance. Look to Sweden to present a difficult front in the knockout stage.

“We had the knife to our throats,” Chamat said. “We had everything to play for, so we were pumped up. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”

A razor sharp knife will surely be poised at a few throats in the next three days as the tournament takes on an entirely new complexion with the format presenting lots of opportunities for dramatic finishes and results. With each contest between countries featuring six individual matches, there is a very distinct possibility that the two teams will end up tied at 3 – 3. In that case the two teams will engage in a dramatic and highly difficult shootout to determine who advances and who goes home.

The shootout will work like this; The object ball(8-ball) will be placed in the middle of the foot rail at the same level as the first diamond. The cue ball will be placed on the head spot. Players have the choice to try and pocket the ball in either the left or right corner pockets. All players will play in sequence and the team to score six hits first with a margin of two or more(6-4, 7-5, etc.) will be the winner and will advance to the next round.

The shootout was introduced two years ago at the very first World Pool Team championship in Hanover, Germany and produced one of the most memorable moments the sport had seen in years. In the quarterfinals Great Britain and China went to a shootout, and the two teams slugged it out with over 60 made pots, with the Brits eventually winning 27 – 25. Great Britain went on to win the event.

The field will be down to the final four by the end of the day on Wednesday. The semi-finals will be played on July 5, while the final will commence on July 6.

The winning team will share $80,000, while the runner up will get $40,00 Read more ...