International Billiard Champions Clash
by InsidePOOL Staff
The first day of the 17th Annual International Challenge of Champions billiard tournament wrapped up with not one sudden-death playoff, an unusual occurrence. Hosted by the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, this event is presented by Billiards International, Ltd.
With the staggering winner-takes-all prize of $50,000, the event has a format of two races to 5. In case of a split, a one-game playoff results. Eight champions were invited from all over the world to play in this single-elimination tournament.
Current U.S. Open champion John “Mr. 400” Schmidt was the first to fall, going up against Dutchman Niels Feijen, who won the matches by narrow 5-3, 5-4 margins. Former U.S. Open champ Ralf Souquet went next. Lee Van Corteza of the Philippines sent the German packing with his decisive 5-2, 5-1 victories.
Defending champion Johnny Archer bested Taiwan’s Ching-Shun Yang, going double-hill in the first set and then delivering a 5-0 whitewashing. And two world champions clashed when Thorsten “Hitman” Hohmann ousted reigning champ Ronato Alcano 5-3, 5-4.
The next round of matches will see Feijen versus Hohmann and Van Corteza against Archer. The winners of those matches will advance to the finals.