by Luke Riches
9th September, 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool
Finland 9-7 USA
Poland 9-4 Chinese Taipei
THE FINAL of the 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool will be an all-Northern Europe affair as Poland and Finland came through their semi-final matches to set up an intriguing Sunday night clash at Robinson’s Place Mall in Manila.
Earlier Finland had tussled with Team USA before breaking away at the close to clinch it while the Poles were dominant against a Taiwanese team who weren’t able to deliver a similar performance to their quarter-final show over England.
The Poles though, were strait out the traps and within 30 minutes found themselves 5-0 up. Calm under pressure, Karol Skowerski and Wojciech Szewcyk seem to be improving with each match as they completed some difficult run outs.
The Taiwanese pair of Han En-hsu & Hsin Ting-chen were never in it as they chased after a big deficit and in the end they lost by 9-4.
Karol Skowerski, the senior of the two said, “It’s impossible. One week ago we didn’t dream about the final. We are just happy to reach the quarterfinal. The semi-final is historical. The final is another level. Maybe we can win this tournament.
„We weren’t nervous. The key for the win is just to enjoy the game and have fun. I think Finland is the same dark horse like us.
“Nobody expected they would reach the final, just like us. It will be very tough match. It will be a different story than the other matches. We just have to play the same, just have fun and enjoy the game and everything will be ok.“
18 year-old Szewcyk added, „We are not the strongest possible team. We are not top two in Polish ranking, but what we did here was amazing.“
„That was the first match I played really well. We are happy with our result and the way we played. We had much less pressure. The first three rounds made us comfortable playing here; at first this was all new, the crowd, shouting people after every mistake. Now it’s our fourth match, I just get used to it.“
Earlier, Finland reached their second PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool final as they buried American hopes, running out 9-7 winners. The Finnish pair of Mika Immonen and Petri Makkonen turned over a 5-2 deficit to win seven out of nine racks as they closed the match out.
The American pair of Rodney Morris and Shane Van Boening was in control of the match in the first half but some crucial mistakes by Rodney Morris let the Finns off the hook, coupled with an outrageous fluked 9 ball that saw the Finns get to 8-7 at a critical moment.
In what was the final rack, the Americans had a great chance to clear but Morris missed a bad 6 ball and with that the Finns ran out for the victory in what was a close run match.
This will be Finland’s second World Cup of Pool final. They lost 13-12 to China in Rotterdam in 2007 in a heart-break defeat.
Immonen said, „We hung in there. Our break was a bit off at the beginning and then we adapted. That’s what it is in pool. We did better on the long shots than they did. Petri’s really doing better. We don’t make little mistakes get to us. We analyze it and then brush it off and move on but in the finals we have to play more solid.“
„It will definitely be a very sought after title on anyone’s resume. It would really make us proud to lift the trophy. We’ve both worked hard all week and we’ve done everything we could. I hope we can do it – we’ve got a chance now,“ he added.
A delighted Makkonen said, „It hasn’t sunk in yet. Mika covered me again a few times. We played good but I made a few mistakes. We made good shots after those misses. The more games you have in that arena and it becomes easier to play as you get used to it.”
Morris was disappointed but only had himself to blame, „Shane played real good, but I didn’t – I dogged it and it cost us the tournament. A least three times I dogged it. The turning point was 5-2 when Shane got kissed in and scratched. They tied it up from there and then we had to fight it out. When they fluked the 9 to make it 8-7 that was the game right there.“
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. The superb venue with plentiful balconies offers superb views of the playing arena, and crowds are in the thousands rather than hundreds.
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.