Predator International 10-Ball Tour Day Two

Imran Majid

The second day of the Predator International 10-Ball Tour began with a big match right out of the gate. The luck of the draw found friends and traveling companions Mika Immonen (Finland) and Charlie Williams (USA) on the Kozoom show table.  This match began as a neck and neck battle until Williams caught a gear in the ninth game and dominated the balance of the match. He missed the case 10 Ball in rack 12, but came back in the next rack to again gain control and take the match home 8-5. Williams then continued his winning ways, displaying the best cue ball control of the event, and passed Stefan Gruber (Germany) 8-6.  His next opponent was Marcus Chamat, and Chamat is always tough. But Williams once again had magnificent cue ball control and strolled out to a comfortable 8-5 win to seal his entry in to the final round of sixteen.

Marcus Chamat (Sweden), he of the big heart, easily cruised his first match of the day pasting Francisco Perez (Spain) 8-1. He treated Vncent Facquet (France) only a little better, claiming that round 8-2.  It was then that he went on the face Charlie Williams. As mentioned, this one did not go his way and he then had to go play Mika Immonen. Immonen had been traveling his way through the one-loss side with victories over Pedro Fonseca (Portugal) 8-7, Reda Belhaj (8-1), and Manuel Ederer (8-3). The match between Immonen and Chamat held a lot of interest as these two are Mosconi Cup teammates and strong rivals in other tournaments. Chamat was obviously energized for this one and his arm was extremely sharp. He led early 4-0 and maintained his edge to knock Immonen out of the tournament 8-3.

Raj Hundal (Great Britain) barely broke a sweat today. He wasted Francisco Perez (Spain) 8-1 and then gave the exact same 8-1 torturing to Reda Belhaj (Morocco).  Meanwhile, Oliver Ortmann (Germany) also found the tables to his liking. He dispatched David Lafoz (Spain) 8-3 before also sending Manuel Ederer (Germany) left with an 8-5 score line and progressing to face Hundal. This was a great, close match but in the end it was Hundal who emerged the victor by a slim 8-7 margin. Ortmann then went over to play a make it or break it match against Vincent Facquet (France). He made it. He took the spunky Frenchman down 8-5 and progressed to the single-elimination rounds.

In the D bracket current World 10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton (Great Britain) slid past Hanni Alhowri (UAE) 8-6 and then turned the heat up a notch as he ran past Guilherme Sousa (Portugal) 8-4 to find himself in the final winners bracket facing David Alcoberro (Spain). Alcoberro may as have well have kept his cue in the case as Appleton demolished him 8-0 and then went to rest for the single-elimination tests he would later face.

Niels Feijan (Netherlands) first bested Vitor Refacho (Portugal) 8-4 before struggling a bit to overcome Bruno Sousa (Portugal) 8-6 only to find himself faced off against the sharp-shooting Karl Boyes of Great Britain. Boyes trip to the final qualification bracket had him beating Paulo Pereira (Portugal) 8-3 and then forcing Antonio Neves (Portugal) also to the left side of the brackets 8-5. Boyes gave Appleton all he could handle but Appleton claimed the win 8-7. Boyes still made it through to the final stage as in his next match he ruled over Guilherme Sousa (Portugal) 8-4 and avenged his loss to Appleton.

The final man to make it through on the one-loss side was Nuno Santos of Portugal. He had lost his very first match to David Alcoberro (8-7) but then gathered his strength and got the best of Manuel Pereira of Portugal (8-5), Antonio Neves  of Portugal (8-5), Hanni Alhowri of the UAE (8-5) And finally got sweet revenge on the man who first sent him left by defeating David Alcoberro 8-5.

This prepared the stage for the blind draw that would set the matches for the single-elimination sweet-sixteen. Single-elimination rounds are cruel. Only one player from each match will move on while the other may fall out of the tournament by margins as small as a single game. We had sixteen great players enter this first round and only eight would come out of it with hope for a tournament win.  

The first player to make his exit was Rodney Morris. Raj Hundal eliminated him 8-5 and the Rocket had no complaints to air. But that is the way with Morris. He is a sportsman of the first caliber and is never prone to excuses. Darren Appleton, the current king of Ten Ball, then ended the run of FranCisco Diaz 8-4.  Next to fade away was Nuno Santos. David Alcaide disposed of him 8-6.

Neils Feijen quenched the fire that is Oliver Ortmann. After trailing early in the match 4-2 he won the next six racks to move on the next round 8-4. One of the big pre-tournament favorites was next to need the door. Ralf Souquet was vanquished 8-5 by Imran Majid. And Marcus Chamat continued with his hot hand by eliminating Nuno Rollo 8-5. Karl Boyes made it through. He shut down the efforts of Manuel Gama 8-5. Finally, our last player through to the great eight is Charlie Williams who halted former world champion Thorsten Hohmann 8-5.