Feijen vs Orcullo for World 8-Ball Title

Dennis Orcullo

The 2011 World 8-Ball Championship is now down to just two players. Niels Feijen will face Dennis Orcullo on Saturday for the title.

Friday play started with the final sixteen players and the fans witnessed the surprising elimination of Mika Immonen (9-1 at the hands of Thomas Engert) as well as a fantastic hill-hill match between Appleton and Ronnie Alcano. Appleton led the match 8-4, before coming up dry on the break and being forced to watch Alcano run rack after rack to tie the match at 8-8. Alcano made a ball on the break and looked to be out in the case rack, but missed a tricky ball down the rail and that was all the opportunity that Appleton needed to run the rack and win the match.

The final round of eight saw another great comeback as Niels Feijen looked to be on his way out the door in his match against Nick Van Den Berg. Van Den Berg held an early lead, but Feijen came back and made it a close match. Van Den Berg was running out a tricky final rack at 8-8, when he got funny on a ball early in the rack. The pressure of the situation may have gotten the better of him as he missed a semi-touch cut and conceded the match to Feijen instead of sitting and watching Feijen run his final eight balls.

The story of the first quarter final match was missed opportunities. Dennis Orcullo faced off against David Alcaide and the packed house of Filipino fans made it very clear who they were cheering for. The match saw Orcullo take a small lead early in the match. At 5-3, a miss by Orcullo let Alcaide to the table, but he was unable to take advantage and Orcullo won the rack. Again, at 6-3, Alcaide got to the table but was unable to capitalize. Amazingly, at 7-3, Alcaide had another chance that didn't pan out and Orcullo took an 8-3 lead. That would be the last chance for Alcaide as Orcullo broke and ran the final rack for the 9-3 win.

The second quarter final match was between last year's runner up, Niels Feijen, and Darren Appleton. With the "winner breaks" rule and the forgiving pockets, the lag has been extremely important for the players. That lag went to Darren Appleton, but that would be one of only two trips he made to the table. Appleton broke dry and was forced to sit in the chair as Fiejen ran six straight racks. At 6-0, Feijen made a ball on the break but really had no high percentage shot to start the run with. Feijen opted for a safety and Appleton got his second chance at the table. Appleton missed a tricky jump-carom and that was the end as Feijen ran the final three racks for the 9-0 win.

Saturday play will start out with Appleton taking on Alcaide for 3rd place, followed by Feijen vs Orcullo for the title.