Engert Snares Second World Pool Masters Title
8 – 5 Win Edges Alcaide
Thomas Engert of Germany has won the 2007 PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters. Engert sealed a stunning 8-5 victory in a high-quality final against Spain’s David Alcaide at the Hotel Zuiderduin, Egmond aan Zee. This becomes Engert’s second Masters title after he had also claimed the glory in 2004.
“It’s always great to win a tournament, especially like this with the media and 16 of the top players around the world,” he said. “With it being a race to eight, it’s hard to win as you never know what’s going to happen. It’s a really big thing for me to win this tournament,” he added.
Alcaide, who defeated two World Champions Ralf Souquet and Oliver Ortmann on his way to the final, won the lag and then claimed the opening rack after a foul by Engert gave him ball-in-hand . However, Engert soon turned things round and won the next two racks for a 2-1 lead. But it was all square again as Alcaide hit a 5-9 combination after Engert missed a three-rail escape from a safety trap.
In the fifth rack, Alcaide secured perfection with a golden break as the 9-ball was kicked in by the five and powered into the bottom left corner, which regained his lead at 3-2.
Engert broke and ran through the balls in the sixth as the players were tied at 3-3 as the final looked to be developing into an epic. It edged in Engert’s favour as he claimed his fourth and then had the break in the next to have a chance for a two-rack lead.
He took it after a fine long shot to pot the 5-ball with cue close to the right-hand rail and now led 5-3.
These two players were part of the European team that competed in the 2006 Mosconi Cup and there was not much between them as Alcaide produced a fine break and then ran through the balls to trail only 5-4 in the race to eight match.
Engert gained some fortune in the next as his break shot saw the cue ball kicked by the five and headed towards the top right pocket, only to stop right on the edge.
Alcaide stole the next off of Engert’s break for 5-5 but then came up with a dry break of his own and that proved costly as Engert reasserted himself as he regained the lead. He then moved to the hill and only one rack from becoming the champion.
Engert was given a helping hand as Alcaide’s break was not fruitful and he shook his head on the way back to his seat, knowing that his tournament could be over. It was.
A 3-5 combination was the only tricky shot for Engert as he rattled home the 9-ball into the bottom left pocket for the title.
The big point is I made some hard shots on the table and they are tight pockets so it’s not easy to play on. I made these shots and that was a big reason I won,” said Engert.
“I’ve played here for the last three years and I was in good shape. But this year I’ve been struggling in tournaments and did not do so well in the Euro Tour.
“I lost some tight matches and it takes your self confidence away. But this is one of the biggest tournaments and broadcast on television. Matchroom Sport always does a really good job. I would like to be at such a tournament every week.
“It’s always great to win a tournament, especially like this with the media and 16 of the top players around the world. With it being a race to eight. It’s hard to win as you never know what’s going to happen. It’s a really big thing for me to win this tournament.
“It’s a different story to 2004 as in 2004 I was very confident because I was Challenge of Champions two weeks before and come here not afraid to lose. But this time I was struggling so it’s harder to win when you’re struggling.
In the first semi-final Alcaide defeated Scotland’s Pat Holtz 8-5 to claim a spot in the Masters final at his first attempt.
The Spaniard claimed the opening two racks. In both of them he was handed opportunities by his Holtz, who failed to get out of a snooker to give the Spaniard ball-in-hand in the first, and missed three pots in the second.
But Holtz then won the third and fourth racks after Alcaide failed to get tricky jump shots right. A 4/9 combination from Alcaide put him back in front and he extended his lead when Holtz left the brown 7 after failing with a bank attempt.
Alcaide moved three racks ahead at 5-2, but considering some of the fight backs that have been seen over the previous matches, still had a great deal of work to do to book his place in the championship match. However, he took another small step towards that goal by winning the eighth and would have the break in the next.
He sunk a ball off the break in one of the better attempts of this semi-final, but gave Holtz another opportunity by failing to down the blue 2. Later in the same rack Holtz curled the ball around the black eight to get out of trouble, although he still looked like losing the rack.
Alcaide was two shots from going to the hill but then scratched to give ball-in-hand to Holtz who had a simple task to make it 6-3. That appeared to affect Alcaide as a shocking shot in the next rack left the Scotsman an easy 1-ball and later scratched into the right side pocket. Those mistakes and some astute play from Holtz made it 6-4 but Alcaide then put one foot in the final by taking the 11th for 7-4.
All Holtz could do now is win off his own break and hope Alcaide made mistakes on his. Holtz did the first part by breaking and running through the 12th as the scoreboard showed 7-5 but he would then have to sit in his seat and hope. He got back to the table but could not do enough as Alcaide clinched the rack for his first appearance in a World Pool Masters final.
In the second semi-final, Thomas Engert, the 2004 champion, beat Nick Van Den Berg 8-4 to dash home hopes and set up a meeting with David Alcaide in the final.
Van den Berg made the first error when he missed the blue two and that helped Engert to take the opening rack in this race to eight.
The German, who had been struggling with an illness in the earlier part of the day, then doubled his lead, before van den Berg won his opening rack – to the delight of the home fans.
But Engert was soon to regain his two-rack advantage as a fine break left the balls well positioned for a routine run out.
Van den Berg then clinched his second rack but Engert regained control of the match by winning the next two. The latter saw van den Berg leave the 9-ball over the pocket leaving a simple shot for the German.
With the score at 5-2, van den Berg needed to raise his game if he was to delight the home supporters and make the final. But a poor safety saw him slump on to the table as he showed his disappointment as the match was slipping away from him.
Engert though was happy to seal another rack as he now lead 6-2, only two away from the final and with the alternate break format was now clear favourite to grab the glory.
Van den Berg was also having problems with his breaking and a dry break came at the start of the ninth with a shot at the 1-ball for Engert. The Dutchman was soon back in action as Engert missed the pink 4 with the rest and then failed with a jump shot on the same ball.
It became 6-3, although Engert produced a dry break of his own in the 10th. But it did not matter as a bad positional shot going from the four to the five meant van den Berg had to use the jump cue. As a result he missed the five-ball and Engert punished this mistake fully for 7-3.
He then had a shot to win the match but his attempted 3-9 combination failed as van den Berg kept his slight hopes alive by taking the score to 7-4.
But it proved to be in vain as Engert sealed an 8-4 victory and on course to repeat his previous Masters triumph.
Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 – 5 David Alcaide (Esp)
(winner $20,000, runner-up $10,000)
David Alcaide (Esp) 8 – 3 Oliver Ortmann (Ger)
Pat Holtz (Sco) 8 – 5 Niels Feijen (Ned)
Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 – 7 Wu Chia-ching (Tpe)
Nick Van Den Berg (Ned) 8 – 7 Fabio Petroni (Ita)
David Alcaide (Esp) 8 – 6 Ralf Souquet (Ger)
Oliver Ortmann (Ger) 8 – 3 Naoyuki Oi (Jap)
Pat Holtz (Sco) 8 – 6 Li He-wen (Chn)
Niels Feijen (Ned) 8 – 6 Imran Majid (Eng)
Wu Chia-ching (Tpe) 8 – 1 Tyler Edey (Can)
Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 – 4 Tony Drago (Mlt)
Nick Van Den Berg (Ned) 8 – 1 Jasmin Ouschan (Aut)
Fabio Petroni (Ita) 8 – 6 Ronnie Alcano (Phi)