Poland and Finland in the medals

by Luke Riches

8th September,  2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool


Poland 9-6 Italy

Finland 9-5 Philippines B

Tomorrow’s semi finals (1pm)

Finland v USA

Poland v Chinese Taipei

IN THE last quarter-final match at the PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool, Finland extinguished the remaining Filipino hopes as they made light work of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante to run out convincing 9-5 winners and book a semi-final match up against the USA.

The Philippines were never at the races as the huge crowd at Robinsons Place in Ermita were gradually quietened as the Finns began to control the game. Makkonen dogged the 9 ball in the opening rack but after that the youngster seemed to grow in confidence abetted by Immonen.

Finland lead over the early stages but the Filipinos found themselves at 6-5 and still in the match. A ball in hand opportunity for the Finns in the next made the score 7-5 and they took the next two to take the match, Immonen closing it out with a great 7/9 combination.

Commented Immonen, “We’ve already beaten two World Cup of Pool champions and if we keep it together, break well, keep our composure then we have every chance. We’ve had our moments – the last match Petri carried me and tonight I carried him.

“With the crowd here, you have to keep your opponents in their seat and that keeps the crowd quiet. There was a bit of tension in the middle part of the match and we had our moment of doubt, but we made the openings and then closed the door.”

Makkonen added, “At the start I was just focused on the table and shooting. I was a bit nervous but after the first miss on the 9 ball I was confident. I made a couple of errors but they were just bad shots not nerves.

“It helps playing with Mika – he tells me what to do on the 50/50 shots because he has so much knowledge. We have to play the same against the USA as we did against Germany and the sky’s the limit.”

For the Philippines it was a disappointing evening with so much expectation resting on the veterans’ shoulders.

„They played good because we missed a lot in the beginning and that give them confidence. All our break shots are no good. They break really good. That’s the whole match,“ said Reyes.

Bustamante added, „It wasn’t our night I guess because we just don’t break good. We had two illegal breaks and then they ran four racks on us. Whoever gets the break is going to win. They played good and had confidence so congratulations to them.“

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 Polish dream continues as Karol Skowerski and Wojciech Szewcyk overcame a lacklustre Italian pairing of Bruno Muratore and Fabio Petroni to advance to the semi-finals of the 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool, a best ever showing from a Polish team.

9-6 was the scoreline and Italy lead only once, taking the opening rack. Poland lead throughout although at the halfway stage, at 4-4, Italian hopes were still alive. The more experienced Skowerski marshalled the proceedings, although the 18 year old Szewczyk showed few nerves for a teenager.

At 8-4 the Poles were on the brink of victory but missed a 7 ball into the centre pocket when the pot up table looked the easier option. The Italians took that and the next to pile the pressure on Poland.

Petroni though, was the ultimate villain of the piece, as he missed 7 ball and Poland cleared up to take an excellent win. The Italians will be disappointed, having looked so good in previous rounds, but they take home $10,000 as consolation.

A delighted Karol Skowerski said, „I think we played not very well but it worked. This is really big for us because at the beginning of the tournament we dreamed about this achievement.

“For Polish pool this is historical. This is the best result we have ever had in this tournament. The important thing is that I can count on my partner. I’m not surprised he is playing so good.“

Szewcyk added, „We are a good team, a good combination of experience and young enthusiasm. I have to handle the pressure all the time. That’s what I love about pool. You have to fight against yourself. I feel nervous but Karol makes me calm after I make mistakes. He tells me just don’t think about the past.“

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: luke.riches@matchroom.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.