Majid’s Magic Touch
World Pool Masters / Las Vegas, NV
by InsidePOOL Staff
Imran “The Maharajah” Majid ousted 2007 Player of the Year Shane Van Boening from the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters in the first billiard match of the afternoon. The tournament, which began May 9, is presented by Matchroom Sport and hosted by the Riviera Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Watched by Majid’s parents, the match began closely enough, with Van Boening winning the lag and breaking and running out the first rack. The next three games were traded until the score reached 2-all, at which point Van Boening broke and ran the fifth and then took ball in hand after a foul by Majid to gain a two-rack advantage.
To the dismay of the U.S. fans in the audience, however, that was to be the last game won by the 24-year-old “South Dakota Kid.” Uncharacteristic and costly misses by Van Boening ended up being his downfall, and Majid could do no wrong, reaching the hill 7-4. On his last break, Majid pocketed the 7 ball and had a road map to get out, winning the match 8-4 to advance.
The 18-year-old WPA World Junior champion, Ko Pin-yi, came up against five-time World Pool Masters winner Ralf Souquet, who also recently took the World 8-Ball title. In a match dubbed as “youth versus experience,” youth prevailed. Ko took the first three racks uncontested before Souquet got on the board after a foul by Ko. Souquet came up empty on the following break, and it looked as though Ko might take control again, but instead he hung up the 1 ball, and the German veteran got another game under his belt to bring the score to 4-2.
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The wily Souquet used his moving skills to win the next rack by three-fouling Ko. However, this only served as fuel for the fire, for Ko surged ahead, winning the next three racks in a row to reach the hill 7-3. Souquet had two chances in the last rack but missed the 1 ball twice, handing the match to Ko 8-3.
In the final match in the afternoon session, a “Tornado” took Niels Feijen by storm in the form of Malta’s Tony Drago. Barely waiting for the cue ball to stop moving before taking his next shot, Drago raced around the table, taking two racks for every one of Feijen’s until the score reached 4-2 in his favor. A break and run by Drago and then a failed safety attempt by the Dutchman put Drago up 6-2.
But “The Terminator” was not about to give up his chance to advance. When Drago came up dry on his following break, Feijen not only dished up but then broke and ran the next rack. To cement his comeback attempt, Feijen then dropped the 9 ball on his next break, drawing within a game of Drago at 6-5. However, Drago reached the hill when Feijen failed to hide the 1 ball. Feijen retaliated when Drago badly missed the 6 ball in the next two racks, making it a hill-hill challenge. Feijen pushed out to a jump shot on the 2 ball in the final rack, but when Drago passed, the Dutchman left the 2 wide open for Drago to clear the rack and win 8-7.
Saturday evening’s matches will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature Corey Deuel versus Christian Reimering of Germany, Daryl Peach versus Mika Immonen, and Rodney Morris versus Alex Pagulayan. Visit InsidePOOL for the latest news in the sport of billiards and pool.