Knock out action continued at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas as the last 32 players in the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters became just 16 as the event prepared to move to the single table TV setting.
With players eliminated in the first two days of competition reading like a who’s who of pool, there are still a host of big names left in the event, a testimony to the immense strength of the field.
Defending champion Darren Appleton saw his hopes of a repeat win dashed as Germany’s seasoned veteran Oliver Ortmann overturned large deficits coming from 7-4 down to take their match 9-7 and set up a last 16 clash with countryman Thorsten Hohmann, who had earlier beaten remaining Dutch hope Niels Feijen.
“I played pretty well and got a bit lucky. I broke very well though and I’m pleased to progress,” said Ortmann.
Young Scotsman Jayson Shaw, a 21 year-old from Glasgow, continued his giant killing act as he dumped Dennis Hatch out of the competition to set up a last 16 clash with Roberto Gomez who had earlier beaten Huidji See of Holland.
“Reaching the last 16 is probably my greatest achievement in pool. I’ve played in the IPT but this had topped it,” said Shaw.
“I’ve been playing pretty good and won a few things at 9-ball so I thought if I get my chances I can take them. I’m just as good as anybody when I get among the balls.
“A lot of people didn’t know me but I’ve beaten Lee Van Corteza and Dennis Hatch, the MVP at the Mosconi Cup so I’m just over the moon.”
Winning his second consecutive hill-hill match, Floridian John Schmidt, the 2006 US Open Champion moves onto the last 16 where he plays John Morra. After Lee Van Corteza yesterday it was Jason Klatt of Canada who fell at the final hurdle.
“It was very tough. I lost my break the entire set apart from the last game. Jason was hooking me and running out so he played great. I haven’t figured out the break at all.
“This is one of the toughest tournaments I’ve ever been in and I’ve seen eight world champions not even get into the money stage.
“The way I’m breaking I don’t like my chances and maybe that will change but I will have to go with the cut break,” said Schmidt.
The first match to be played in the last 16 this evening features 2005 champion Raj Hundal against the Philippines highly dangerous Dennis Orcollo. Hundal defeated Ernesto Dominguez while Orcollo put paid to Marcus Chamat’s hopes.
“It’s tough for everyone and you saw that in the qualifiers where you had Mika v Ralf and that’s normally a semi-final,” said Hundal.
“You have great players everywhere and there’s not a soft draw. Even the lady players are capable of beating everyone so for me this is the tougher than a World Championship.
“A lot of great players went out 2-0 so to get into the last 16 is an achievement. I’ve playing better than ever, am focused and coming in off a good win in Sweden so I know what heart it takes.”
Still reigning World 9 Ball Champion Daryl Peach came through after beating countryman and World 8 Ball winner Karl Boyes by 9-4. Both players hail from Blackpool, England it Peach now faces Japanese qualifier Toru Kuribayashi.
“It was a big match for both of us and it was a mega tough field and a tough draw with a fellow Englishman,” said Peach.
“So there was a bit of added pressure and you try to block it out but sometimes you can’t. I can definitely win and at the end of the day I’ve won the World Championship. I’ve also won two out of four on the Euro Tour and won two out of two GB9 events.
“I’ve beaten Efren Reyes 9-6 to qualify for the last 32 and now the wheels are starting to turn,” added an ominous sounding Peach.
Rodney Morris looks to be finding a gear as he defeated England’s solid Mark Gray but he will have his work cut out in the last 16 as he faces two-time Masters Champion Thomas Engert who eliminated Johnny Archer from the competition.
“It was a horrible match! Normally if I had these chances I would’ve lead 5-0 but it was only 3-2. I missed so many chances but then I played a bit better but I was struggling but that’s what you have to do to get into the tournament.
“I’m happy to be there in the last 16 and it was a good result but it should’ve been more. I practise a lot at home but in the last year I haven’t played many tournaments.
“I have to play more matches and tournaments but I’m fighting hard.”
Last 32 – Results
Raj Hundal (IND) 9-6 Ernesto Dominguez (USA)
Marcus Chamat (SWE) 7-9 Dennis Orcollo (PHI)
Rafael Martinez (MEX) 7-9 John Morra (CAN)
John Schmidt (USA) 9-8 Jason Klatt (CAN)
Stevie Moore (USA) 8-9 Ricky Yang (INA)
Do Hoang Quan (VIE) 7-9 Ralf Souquet (GER)
Dennis Hatch (USA) 5-9 Jayson Shaw (SCO)
Roberto Gomez (PHI) 9-4 Huidji See (NED)
Naoyuki Oi (JAP) 9-5 Evgeni Novosad (UKR)
Lo Li-Wen (TPE) 8-9 Charlie Williams (USA)
Karl Boyes (ENG) 4-9 Daryl Peach (ENG)
Kuo Po Cheng (TPE) 3-9 Toru Kuribayashi (JAP)
Rodney Morris (USA) 9-7 Mark Gray (ENG)
Friday Night Last 16 Matches
Raj Hundal (IND) v Dennis Orcollo (PHI)
John Morra (CAN) v John Schmidt (USA)
Ricky Yang (INA) v Ralf Souquet (GER)
After 17 years as a 16-player invitational competition, the Masters, one of the longest established tournaments in pool, is now a 64 player event and takes place over five days instead of three.
Working in conjunction with Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.
Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.
The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.