Bustamante wins Challenge of Champions

Francisco Bustamante

Francisco Bustamante has won the International Challenge of Champions at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.

Bustamante got to the finals via a 7-3 win over English Champion Daryl Peach on Wednesday and a 5-3,5-1 win over reigning champion Efren Reyes earlier on Thursday. His opponent in the finals, Canadian 9-Ball Champion John Horsfall, got to the finals with a 7-5 win over Ralf Souquet and then a sudden death win over Earl Strickland. Horsfall split the two sets with Strickland, and then broke and ran the one rack tie-breaker for the win.

Bustamante won the first set of the finals 5-3 and looked to be on his way to an early victory as he lead 2-0 in the second set. Horsfall rallied and won the next three games to take the lead at 3-2. The match it's way to 4-4 with Horsfall breaking. After the break, Horsfall ran out of position on the the 2-ball and missed the ball giving Bustamante ball in hand. Bustamante played safe on the 2-ball and Horsfall made a 2-4 carom and proceeded to run the rack to force a one game tie breaker for the $50,000 prize.

Just as Horsfall won the lag and kept Strickland in his chair during the tie-breaker earlier, a visibly nervous Bustamante won the lag this time and kept Horsfall in the chair as he ran out the final rack for the tournament win.

This event was a 'winner take all' event and Bustamante pocketed $50,000 for the win.

Photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe

Additional Coverage
Brackets | Photo Gallery