The Korea International Championships

Day one of the Korea International Championships is now complete and it was smooth sailing for the top pros who all begin the final 16 matches of the winners bracket tomorrow morning. That is, all except for Mike Davis(USA) who was shot down in his first battle against rising Japanese star Goh Takami(Japan). Takami brought his "A" game for this match, jumping out to an early lead and never letting Davis find his footing. With an array of precision shooting and over-powering breaks he earned himself a shot at Thorsten "The Hitman" Hohmann. Living up to his nickname, Hohmann sliced and diced his way through his opponent as well as drawing "oohs and ahhs" from our cultural diverse crowd.

Rocket Rodney Morris overcame his allergies with the quickness and seemed unstoppable early on in his match. After running the first two racks he finally came unglued, scratching into the corner pocket off the break. His opponent then proceeded to pose a problem for Rodney until inning number 8 where he took complete control and put together a nice run to finish him off. He now will compete against Japans Yoshiyuki Niwa who recently competed on the Japan team for the Dragon Promotions Korea vs. Japan event a few months back. Mad Max Eberle was all smiles while his picture perfect stroke brought him into the sweet sixteen. He will face Mr. 400, John Schmidt who himself was perfect on the day. John, complaining on the days leading up the match about how he feels out of stroke for 9-ball absolutely had me fooled. He won the lag and then managed to run out 6 straight racks in this race to 9 event. After his beautifully spread break in the 7th he unfortunately left the 7-ball just hanging on the edge of the pocket. The crowd was pleased only because they could finally release their breath, holding it in belief of a perfect game. However, John was able to regain control of inning number seven, finish it smoothly and then ran out the following two racks to blank his opponent 9-0.

Korean sensation Seung-woo Ryu also blanked his first opponent and now faces 2003 #1 Asia ranking, Korean star Young-hwa Jung. Ryu, just turning 21 not a week ago has what it takes to be a household name here in Korea and possibly all over the world. Look out world, Korea's going to be banging on your door. But the person who wouldn't mind answering it is, Mr. Frozone himself, Mika "The Iceman" Immonem. Mika, finding himself down 8-6 reached deep down into his bag of tricks and pulled off yet another come from behind victory. During his match I looked over to Hohmann and asked " What do you think the final score will be?". With out hesitation the reply was, "9-8 Mika". And sure enough, his prediction was as precise as his shot making ability. Mika has even a tougher challenger in Kitatani(#3 JPBA) who defeated Seoul Open Champion and #! in JBC, Hiroshi Takenaka.

Charlie "The Hillbilly" Bryant had no problems adjusting to Korean time, destroying his counter-part with the simplest of ease. He now matches up against Woong-dae Kim of Korea who recently defeated Francisco Bustamante in the group session of the WPC's just a week or so ago. Defending Champion and crowd favorite Charlie Williams faces Craig Riley from England tomorrow. Riley, stopping by the land of the morning calm on his Asian tour looked invincible during his first two matches and definitely won't be taken lightly by Williams.

And finally, the most feared pool player around the world was in the house. Mr. Johnny "The Scorpion" Archer drew a huge crowd to watch him give lessons to his opponent today. All his challenger could do was watch and learn as Johnny ran rack after rack after rack after rack...He will be put to the test tomorrow against 18 year old phenom Nico Otterman from Germany. Nico cruised by his combatants with a sledgehammer like break and amazing accuracy. I asked the young lad "What are you expecting out of your match with the living legend Johnny Archer?". One word reply "Experience".

Finally, we had a monumental and historical event take place today. For the first time ever, professional pool players from Japan in the JBC and the JPBA were able to compete against each other! This has never happpened in the history of billiards until today, in the wonderful country of South Korea and under the watchful eye of Dragons Promotions...

So their you have if folks, day 1 of the spectacular Korea International Championships. Stay tuned for more updates!