by Luke Riches
5th September, 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool
Round 1 Results
England 8-2 Belgium
Finland 8-6 Korea
ENGLAND and FINLAND scored convincing wins in the afternoon session of the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool in Manila to make their way into the second round of the $250,000 event.
The Finnish pair of multi-World Champion Mika Immonen and up-and-coming Petri Makkonen came from 4-0 down against Korea, recovering from a shaky start, and came on strong to record an 8-6 victory.
The Korean pair of Ryu Seung Woo and Lee Wan Su started out well but faded badly as the Finns came on in the second half of the match. Ironically the Koreans reached the semi-final of this event last year but with a completely different set of players and the Korean Association must be kicking themselves for not sticking with Hwang Yong and Lee Gun Jae.
Finland can now look forward to meeting defending champions Germany on Thursday.
„They had all the rolls early, they had everything handed to them but we stayed calm and came with some good shots of our own and put some serious pressure on them,” said Mika Immonen.
“Later in the match I think their inexperience showed they made some bad decisions. Last year we didn’t gel as a pair and it was his first time, but all I can say is watch out Germany. We’re playing well and we’re ready. They are definitely going to have their hands full against us,“ he added.
Makkonen said, „Last year I was nervous but now I feel really good. I’ve been practicing hard for the last six months in Finland. Playing with Mika makes it easy for me because if I’m about to take a bad shot or I’m confused about a shot, he can help me and tell me what to do. I think we can definitely beat Germany. It’s just a race to 8 and anyone can win. It’s a flip of a coin. We can do it.“
The 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 4 to Sunday, September 9 at Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila. Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions. Tickets for the extravaganza will be available at the venue on the day of play but with plentiful balconies offering superb views of the playing arena, organisers are anticipating crowds in the thousands rather than hundreds.
In the earlier match the pedigree English pair of Darren Appleton and Chris Melling walked all over Belgium, who after staying with them in the early stages at 2-2, succumbed to the superior firepower and all round shot making of the English pair.
After last year’s disastrous first round exit at the hands of Estonia, they now look to be one of the favourites for the World Cup of Pool.
Commented Darren Appleton, „We never made a ball on the break but they made four or five mistakes. Once we got it to 4 – 2 though, that took the pressure off.
„We’re strong, we mix well together, we controlled the cue well and if we play like that we have a chance. But we have to get the break down. We’ve played together for 20 years so we know each other’s games inside and out.“
Melling said, „Except for the break we played great, made some good safeties, good potting. We were comfortable out there.
“We don’t need to talk too much because we know each other so well. When you keep your opponents under pressure everybody misses. Lock them up and run out when you get the chance. We can beat anybody.“
The 2012 PARTYPOKER.NET World Cup of Pool is sponsored by PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Diamond Billiards and the Official Cue is Predator.
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Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: email@example.com +44 7785 395688
Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.