See, Kempter, Harriman Stun World Straight Pool Championships
Billiard News – One thing is for certain, there will be a new World Straight Pool Champion in the history books. The day was filled with drama and surprises in the long races to 200 points. The fans were the undeniable winners as they witnessed top notch straight pool at its absolute finest.
Number 1 seed in the last 16 Warren Kiamco obliterated Ouschan 200-81, though Jasmin Ouschan looked strong with a 28-0 lead at the onset. Thorsten Hohmann and Allen Hopkins was well anticipated match but Hohmann blew the lid off with a 100 plus ball run that Hopkins could not recover from and lost 200-87. Nico Otterman had his chances but couldn’t shake off the red hot Martin Kempter 200-37. Then Filipino terror Dennis Orcullo dismantled NYC’s Danny Barouty 200-56. Finally a determined Ortmann destroyed Poland’s hope Babica 200-44 in less than 90 minutes.
Now the upsets. A small one to start was Danny Harriman’s win over Nivk Van Den Berg. The Europeans hvae the Americans 10-1 in experience when it comes to competitive straight pool, yet the Americans have held on with some shining stars. John Schmidt trailed Germany’s Thomas Engert 160-80 in their second re-match of the event. Schmidt dug deep and played a career match and ran 99 to take over the match and eventually put enough pressure on the German to cause some unforced errors and won the match 200-174. It’s very, very hard to defeat the same great player twice in straight pool. I knew Engert was going to be gunning for me. That’s why I’m very proud of this win. said a gleeful Schmidt.
The big surprise came from the Dutch match pairing of Huidji See and Niels Feijen. Feijen a 4 time European 14.1 Champ. See, an unheralded player new to the international stage. The rookie See controlled the match to overcome the odds against Feijen 200-149.
The quarter finals got even more steamier with See continuing his momentum in a blowout aginst Warren Kiamco. Schmidt and Harriman played a hard match filled with leads exchanged back and forth in the fight to see what USA player would represent in the semi-finals. In the end, Schmidt had a golden opportunity that slipped away on a miss and Harriman would win 200-165. Oliver Ortmann was a man on a mission and put away all doubts on if Filipino talent could overcome German straight pool knowledge. Ortmann won the match in an unprecedented 2 innings with a 107 and a 93 run to close the match 200-7 against Orcullo.
Austrian Martin Kempter loooked as if he would run away with the match against Hohmann as he once led 152-53. Hohmann ran a 112 to overtake the lead 165-152. Hohmann would get another chance but scratched off a routine break shot and Kempter with arms raised in a shout eliminated World Champion Hohmann 200-174.
Thorsten’s birthday is the day of the finals. It would have been a nice ending if he got there and won, said friend Tony Robles.
Tomorrow’s first semi finals will be See versus Kempter at 12:30 followed by Ortmann versus Harriman at 3:00pm. Finals will be set for 6:30pm.
Matches will be aired online for free at Dragonpromotions.com in a week and later aired on Propoolvideo.com
Tickets to event can be bought at the door at the Hilton East Brunswick