Day one wins for Greece, France and Austria

Greece 7 – 6 Indonesia
France 7 – 4 Italy
Austria 7 – 2 Portugal
THE NINTH ANNUAL Betway World Cup of Pool got underway this afternoon at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth and there were wins for Greece, France and Austria as the first session of the $250,000 event unfolded.
The opening match went down to the decider as both Indonesia and Greece had periods in the ascendancy. In the end it was a glaring miss on a routine 5 ball by Muhammad Zulfikri which effectively handed the rack and the match to the Greek pairing of Nik Ekonomopoulus and Alex Kazakis.
The second match saw France put paid to Italian hopes as veteran Stefan Cohen and newcomer Alex Montpelier looked the part. They were in control throughout as Fabio Petroni and Daniele Corrieri could not match their game.
Cohen said, “It was a tight match but there were some big moments. They forgot to call for the shot clock extension when they led 3-2 and that was big. They got a bit frustrated after that and we played very well. We only missed one ball each so we are happy that we played well.
“There is more pressure in scotch doubles because you are not playing by yourself and there is no rhythm. You are responsible for your partner as well, so it is a different pressure. Sometimes it can be tricky,” he added.
In the final match of the afternoon, Austria reinforced their credentials with a comprehensive 7-2 win over Portugal to set up a second round match against either Qatar or Chinese Taipei.
The partnership of Albin Ouschan, a World 9 Ball finalist earlier in the year, and Mario He look a dangerous combination and are already looking ahead to their second round match.
‘Qatar has two new players for their team and they are both good players who have done well in big events. Everyone here has a chance of winning because they are all top players. But I think we will play Chinese Taipei next,” said a confident Ouschan.
Now in its ninth year, the Betway World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams from around the world battling it out for a $250,000 prize fund. The defending champions are the Philippines who will be among the favourites to claim a record-breaking fourth World Cup.
Play continues this evening with three more first round matches: Japan v Russia, Finland v Korea and Philippines v Chile.