Thorsten Hohmann Wins Pool’s Biggest Prize

Thorsten Hohmann

The most historic event in pool history has just concluded with Thorsten "The Hitman" Hohmann winning $350,000 for his double-hill victory over "Marvelous Marlon" Manalo.

Complete with Michael Buffer announcing his trademark phrase, modified for the occasion to "Let's get ready to rack 'em!" the IPT's first major event was an unqualified success. Two of the best players in the world performed in front of a wall-to-wall crowd, and the set was classy and striking. Manalo had chosen Jose Parica as he corner man, while Charlie Williams was in Hohmann's corner.

Empty breaks seemed to plague Manalo throughout the match, but the layouts were coming up pretty cut and dried. Both were playing fluidly - Manalo missed one combo attempt, and Hohmann rattled two balls, but everything came to a head when the score reached 6-all in the race to 8. Hohmann broke and popped the cue ball into the side pocket, and Manalo chose solids and ran out to reach the hill. However, he came up empty on his last break. Hohmann opted for stripes and played a perfect out, joining Manalo on the hill. The German showed no anxiety, just determination as he approached the table for the last time. He broke and made the 9 ball. With an easy layout, he had no trouble as he swiftly cleared the table, winning the final match 8-7. In doing so, he won the biggest prize in pool history, $350,000. Manalo earned $99,000 for his second-place finish.

Tour founder Kevin Trudeau presented Hohmann with the money in a silver briefcase, as well as an enormous silver trophy. Calmly, Hohmann made a short speech, thanking Trudeau first and then praising the audience, his friends, his corner man, and his sponsors.

"I wasn't nervous at all, the entire match," Hohmann reported. "I felt really confident, I had a good night's sleep, slept eight hours, and woke up still full of confidence because of yesterday. I just enjoyed the match. I could've won even higher - I wasn't nervous, I just took my eyes off the ball. Charlie [Williams] was there for me and said just do it, you've done it so many times this week, you can do it again. I had my chance, on that last run-out, my mom could've run out that last rack, it was so easy, so I'm thankful, and maybe it was my destiny."

The IPT's next major event will be held September 2-10 at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, NV. First place will award a stunning $500,000, with a total prize fun of $3,000,000. Be sure to be there!

Click here for tournament results, statistics, pictures, and stories from the IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship!