Challenge of Champions Final Four

Dennis Orcollo (File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe)

The 2008 International Challenge of Champions kicked off on Wednesday Aug 13th with eight players hoping to cash the $50,000 check that goes to the final winner.

The first match of the day saw Worlds #1 ranked Dennis Orcollo take on Japan's Satoshi Kawabata. Orcollo squeaked out a 5-4 win in the first set, but it was Kawabata with a 5-4 win in the second set. Orcollo won the sudden death one game playoff and Kawabata was the first player eliminated.

The second match saw The South Dakota Kid Shane Van Boening taking 2007 World Cup of Pool hero Jian Bo Fu. Most fans would consider Van Boening the favorite in this matchup and he looked like the favorite with a 5-0 win in the first set. It was Fu that won the second set and it was Fu that won the sudden death playoff and Van Boening caught a quick ride to Verona NY for the Turning Stone Classic.

Match number three was Taipei's Jung-Lin Chang vs reigning World 9-Ball Champion Daryl Peach. Chang has been almost unbeatable on the Guinness 9-Ball tour and he was unbeatable on this day too. A 5-4 win in set one by Chang was followed by a 5-3 win in the second set.

The final match of the day saw reigning Challenge of Champions winner Niels Feijen facing off against Korea's Seung-Woo Ryu. Feijen played like a true champion in this match and rolled to back to back 5-2 wins to end the day.

Thursday's matches will see Orcollo take on Chang and Fu face Feijen. The winners of those two matches will face off later in the day for the $50,000 grand prize.