Ko and Hohmann Go to Semi-Finals at CSI 8-Ball Invitational

Thorsten Hohmann

Day Two of the CSI 8-Ball Invitational began with action in Group B. On table 1 we had Thorsten Hohmann versus Jung-Lin Chang and table 2 featured Corey Deuel versus Efren Reyes.

Table 1 began with Hohmann and Chang getting a rack apiece while Deuel claimed the first two racks in his match against Reyes. In rack number three Jung-Lin was running out against Hohmann when he snookered himself on the second to last ball. This was an opportunity for Hohmann to win against his opponents break and he took full advantage to go ahead 2-1 with the break. On table 2 Reyes could not get started and Deuel was controlling each rack to lead 5-0.

Hohmann broke and ran his next rack to go up 3-1 over Chang. This was an important match as at this point both players were undefeated within the group. Chang broke the next rack and made four balls but he missed an elementary shot into the side and left the table open for Hohmann. For the second time Hohmann won against Chang's break and soon led the match 4-1. Deuel continued his domination over Reyes and led 6-0 in our race to 9 games.

Reyes finally took a rack but then Deuel came right back on him to lead 8-1 while Hohmann just kept running out every time he got to the table to lead Chang 7-1. Reyes and Deuel traded the last two racks of their match and Deuel secured the win 9-2.

Chang was in a very deep hole. He won the next rack but Hohmann took the one after to go to the hill and lead 8-2. They traded the last two racks to give the nod to Hohmann 9-3. This result means that Hohmann wins Group B as he is the only player with two wins. The matches in that group tonight cannot alter that outcome but have some importance in the final standings and the prize payouts.

Our next round was in Group C. Table 1 belonged to Shane Van Boening and Dennis Orcollo while table 2 was occupied by Ralph Souquet and Yu-Hsuan Cheng. The early gonigs found Van Boening handsomely ahead of Orcollo at 4-0 while Cheng led Souquet 4-1.

At the mid-point of these matches we had identical scores of 5-2 on each table. Van Boening and Cheng were leading. Souquet and Orcollo had to turn the tide quickly or risk being swamped. Orcollo made a good effort and got back within one game at 5-4 but that was short-lived as Van Boening won the next rack to go up 6-4. Souquet was not so fortunate and only fell further behind as Cheng went out to a 7-3 lead.

Orcollo was not to be rolled over. When Van Boening missed a shot into the side in rack 12 Orcollo took that moment to the bank and tied the score at 6-6. Souquet was not able to duplicate that feat and fell 9-3 to Cheng.

Orcollo just kept pouring on the heat against Van Boening and got to the hill first at 8-7. But it was Van Boening's break and he broke the rack marvelously. He had the opportunity to tie on the hill. And he made it. The match went to double-hill with Orcollo breaking.

Orcollo broke dry for only the second time in the match and Van Boening was in control of his own fate. The stripes were all out in the open and he began picking them off. Now he was back in his rhythm and playing his usual pace. There was nothing to stop him and he cleared the table for the win 9-8.

The next group to play was Group D. Table 1 found Pin-Yi Ko in an early 3-1 lead against Darren Appleton while John Morra and Bustamante were staying close at 2 apiece. Morra caught the first gear and rode it out to a 5-2 lead while Pin-Yi Ko just kept doing what he was doing and had the identical lead on his table over Appleton. He continued his momentum through to the end and won 9-2.

By that time the score between Morra and Bustamante had increased to 7-3 in favor of Morra. Bustamante broke and ran the next rack but he still trailed 7-4 and in an alternating break format like this that is a very large margin to overcome. Morra was giving no slack. He broke and ran the next rack to go to the hill and an 8-4 lead.

Bustamante was not ready to retire and again broke and ran his rack. 8-5 now but it was Morra's break and Bustamante knew he might not get back to the table. But he did. He ran all of his colors but the 8 ball was close to an object ball and he barely missed the shot. With that he conceded the match and Morra won 9-5.

Five PM brought the match we had been waiting for all day. This is the final round of Group A and only two players have a shot at going through to the semis, Ping-Chung Ko and Mike Dechaine. They were matched up on table 1. Table two held Jayson Shaw and Warren Kiamco but neither of them had a shot at progressing to the next round as both already had two losses on their card.

Dechaine and Ko split the first four racks to tie at 2 and then Ko won the next rack to go to 3-2. Ko had the next break and scratched on it to give Dechaine an opportunity but the table had broken into ugly clusters. It would be a tough road to travel to make a run. Somehow he made it through to take the match to 3-3.

Dechaine won the next game off of his break and then also the next to grab the first lead of any note at 5-3. It was again his break so he had the opportunity to increase that lead but he scratched on the break and gave an opportunity to Ko that had not been expected.

Warren Kiamco won his match against Jayson Shaw 9-4, but that would have no effect on the group.

Ko got through the rack to go to 5-4 and as it was now his break he would have the chance to tie the match. Ko broke and made a ball, then chose stripes as his suit and began his run. For the first time you could see some nerves creep into his game as his position play was not as precise as we had seen earlier in the week. That did not harm his run through the rack and we were soon tied at 5 games each.

Dechaine broke the next rack and ran down to his penultimate color, then missed a shot in the side pocket to bring Ko back into play.  Ko took the rack to lead 6-5, then broke and ran the next to extend out to 7-5. Dechaine broke the next rack and when he got on his last color appeared to be out, but his cue ball over-rolled position and he was forced to jump for the eight. He missed and once again was forced to turn the table over to Ko. Ko took the rack and arrived on the hill at 8-5 with the additional advantage of the next rack being his break.

Ko broke, made a ball and had a moderately tough table to navigate as four balls were clustered near the center of the head rail. He opened the cluster early and from there faced no real obstacles. He cleared the field of play to take the match and his position in the semi-finals 9-5.

The final round of the night was group B which had already been won by Thorsten Hohmann. These matches were played for final position in the tournament as only Hohmann would go through to the semi-finals.

Hohmann played his usual sharp game and soon led over Reyes 3-1 while Corey Deuel and Jung-Lin Chang were keeping it close and were tied at 2 apiece. After an hour of play Hohmann had stretched his lead to 6-3 over Reyes while Chang and Deuel were still neck and neck at 4-4. Then Chang just caught fire and dominated the rest of the match to win 9-5.

Meanwhile, Reyes was mounting a comeback on table 2 and at the end of the match the two champions were tied on the hill with Hohmann breaking. The great warrior's comeback fell short when Hohmann broke and ran to win 9-8.

Watch the rest of the CSI Invitationals and challenge matches live at www.playcsipool.com.  CSI is the parent company of the BCA Pool League and the USA Pool League. CSI also produces independent events such as the US Bar Table Championships, Jay Swanson Memorial, US Open One Pocket Championship, US Open 8-Ball Championship, US Open 10-Ball Championship, CSI Invitationals, and CSI Challenge Matches. Visit www.playcsipool.com,www.playbca.com, and www.playusapool.com for more information and visit the CueSports International YouTube channel for lots of great content.