Holtz Sails Through to the Quarterfinals
Pat Holtz edged into the quarter-finals of the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters with a hard-fought 8-6 triumph over Chinese player Li He-wen.
Holtz, who will play either Niels Feijen or Imran Majid on Sunday afternoon, was delighted to still be in the competition.
I never give in, the guy always has to beat me. Getting close is not good enough, said Holtz.
I didn’t feel nervous but I played some poor shots. I was struggling with the pace of the table and under-hitting and over-hitting, which cost me a couple of frames.
It was a shaky match for the two of us and both of us were new to the event and you want to make a good impression, maybe we were trying too hard.
Both players performed well at the World Pool Championships as Holtz reached the semi-finals, while Li He-wen eventually lost in the semi-finals and that enabled both men to be included in the World Pool Masters for the first time.
However, it was a nervous opening as Holtz edged the opening rack, despite a number of missed shots from both players.
Holtz doubled his lead with a golden break in the second as the 9-ball was kicked in off the brown seven. A mistake from Li gave the Scot the next and, with the break in the next, looked to be in total control.
But he failed to take advantage as the Chinese player grabbed his first rack of the tournament. A poor positional shot in the fifth, going from eight to nine, gifted Li another rack to move the score on to 3-2, before the Scotsman broke and ran through the sixth to re-establish a two-rack lead.
In the seventh, Li missed a 1-6 combination but was not made to pay for his mistake as Holtz lost his third rack out of the last four to make the score 4-3 in the Scotsman’s favour.
It looked like becoming 4-4 when Holtz made a poor positional shot going from the five to six and then missed the subsequent six. But Li then failed to sink the 7-ball as Holtz, once again, moved two ahead, before Li claimed the ninth.
The match was becoming a festival of errors and both players had opportunities in the tenth. After Li missed a kick-shot at the one, Holtz sunk the one and, using the jump shot, disposed of the 2-ball but then missed an attempt at the 3-ball. Li eventually secured the rack for a 5-5 scoreline.
For the first time in the match, Li then took the lead after he played a great cut shot to down the 9-ball after Holtz had missed a bank attempt on the same ball.
Li left a seven hanging and his opponent made it 6-6 in a match no player looked like wanting to win. Holtz moved to the hill after winning the 13th, despite scratching earlier in the rack and completed the victory in the next.