White Towel Williams White Washed

Taiwaneses danger man Hui Kai Hsia fired out a loud warning shot at the CIA this afternoon as he pummelled World Snooker Champion Mark Willaims 9 - 0 to become the first player through to the last 32 of the 2003 empirepoker.com World Pool Championship.

The 28 year-old from Kaohsiung, Taiwan played faultless pool as he controlled the table from the outset and in fairness to Williams, he never really got a chance to show what he could do.

With a race to 9, winner breaks format in operation, it was always going to be tough for the Welshman and he was a virtual spectator as Hsia broke and ran the first rack.

Williams had an early chance but ran out of position on the 9 ball in the second to let the Chinese Taipei star back in. From then on it was strictly one way traffic and as Hsia pocketed the final 9 ball, Williams lobbed his white towel onto the table.

Despite his speedy exit from the competition Williams was reflective in defeat, "I'm not really going to compete with the top players at that level but I had a couple of chances but didn't really make the most of it.

"It was actually quite nice to watch a player like that in action at close quarters, seeing how he breaks and makes those jump shots. Those are the type of things, as a snooker player, that I can't do.

"It would have been nice to win a frame but he played superbly and didn't really give me a chance to do anything.

"It was a good achievement to qualify though; I turned over a couple of good players which isn't bad for someone who doesn't really play a lot of 9-ball.

"I got to the knock-outs last year as well so maybe next year I can get a little further in the tournament. I will be watching the rest of the tournament on Sky and cheering on Davis who I think has a great chance this year.

Elsewhere, American debutant Rodney Morris of Hawaii came through in a 9 - 8 thriller and sent Italian pin-up boy Fabio Petroni back to Rome.

Morris, who spent some hard time in jail in the late 90's, is now back on the circuit and a commited Christian. One of the upper echelon of American players Morris was certainly enjoying his visit to Cardiff; "I've never been to Europe before and never played on live TV so this is a great experience and I'm looking forward to the next one."

Top Dutch player Niels Feijen also came through as extinguished tartan hopes, beating Falkirk's Geoff Dunn.

The 2003 empirepoker.com World Pool Championship is sanctioned by the World Pool Association and features 128 players from 41 countries playing for a US$300,000 prize-fund over nine days.

Televised live by Sky Sports in the UK, it is also live across India on Star Sports as well as live in several countries in Europe and across Asia on the ESPN Star network.

Last 64 Results

Rodney Morris (USA) 9 - 8 Fabio Petroni (Ita)
Niels Feijen (Hol) 9 - 4 Geoff Dunn (Sco)
Hui-Kai Hsia (Tpe) 9 - 0 Mark Williams (Wal)
Young-Hwa Jeong (Kor) 9 - 3 Tiong-Boon Tan (Sin)
Marc Holtz (Lux) 9 - 3 Warren Kiamco (Phi)

Winners advance to last 64, losers received US$1,500.