World Champions Tested In Day 2 Of The 2011 Guinness World Series Of Pool

Mika Immonen

15 July 2011: The double elimination round of the 2011 Guinness World Series Of Pool 10-Ball Challenge proved to be an eye-opener for the favourites seeking an easy run to the title with 2003 WPA Nine-Ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann (GER) and 2009 WPA Ten-Ball Champion Mika Immonen (FIN) both pushed to the limit after losing their winner's bracket matches early in the day before finally notching wins in the loser's bracket to earn slots in the round of 32.

On the other hand, it was a grim end for former double world champion Ronato Alcano (PHI) and 2008 WPA Eight-Ball Champion Ralf Souquet as they failed to secure must-win victories to bow out of competition.

Alcano lost to Indonesia's Candra, who seemed to be the toast of the town after dispatching the former double world champion in a 6 – 5 thriller. Souquet also came away empty handed in a similar hill-hill encounter with Indonesia's Ari Hartanto. The dual wins coming from the locals over their foreign counterparts was a sure sign that the Indonesian pool scene has been steadily making headway over the years and now, more and more contenders from Indonesia pose as legitimate threats to international competition.      

After lucking out in his match against Taiwan's Chang Jung-Lin 3 – 6, Finland's Immonen faced Indonesia's Riyan Setiawan on the loser's bracket who was also sporting a similar win-loss card. With a little-known opponent in front of him, the Finn was expected to close out the contest without fuss. However, with the massive partisan crowd in favor of the local bet, it was actually Setiawan who drew first blood. Capitalizing on an unforced error by Immonen on the 1ball corner pocket attempt in the first rack, Setiawan raced to an early 2 – 0 lead.

A missed jump ball attempt on the 9ball by Setiawan in the third rack though allowed Immonen to bounce back with three consecutive table routs of his own to overtake the Indonesian and get the advantage 3 – 2.

In the sixth frame, Setiawan replied with a brilliant 1 – 9 carom sending the striped 9 to the corner pocket which opened up the table for a routine cleanup and knot the score at 3 racks a-piece.

A drybreak from Immonen in the next saw the Indonesian pull ahead of the race 4 – 3 with a 7 – 10 corner pocket combo as an exclamation point.  Living up to his moniker, the 'Iceman' somehow remained unfazed, cleaning up a 2ball corner pocket miss from his rival in the 8th and then capitalizing on an orange 5 bank shot blunder  in the 9th to arrive first on the hill 5 – 4.  

With the crowd urging him on, Setiawan tried his best not to disappoint. But a final error on a long 8ball attempt after a heated safety battle sealed his fate and had Immonen come away with the 6 – 4 win.

Meanwhile, Germany's Thorsten Hohmann, after succumbing to Filipino rising star Carlo Biado, 6 – 5 in the winner's bracket clearly, did not want to go home yet as he was able to get out of his slump with a commanding win over local bet Ari Karaya 6 – 0 for a seat in the knockout stage.

Current WPA World no. 1 Dennis Orcollo and his countrymen, defending tournament champion Jundel Mazon, Jech Limen and Roberto Gomez, Raj Hundal of Great Britain, Americans Johnny Archer and Shane Van Boening and Taiwanese sensations Ko Pin-Yi and Kuo Po-Cheng continued their unbeaten romp through the double elimination rounds to storm through to the knockout stages of the prestigious tournament organized by ESPN STAR Sports.

Orcollo, who faced Canadian Adam Smith, started strongly in his winner's bracket, wasting no time and claiming the first rack with a break and run-out. That did not deter the wily Canadian though, as he was able to keep pace with the reigning world 8-Ball champion in the early goings and before long, had the score knotted up at two racks a-piece.

That changed quickly in the 6th frame with Orcollo leading 3 – 2. Smith's loosely tucked-in shirt proved disastrous as it grazed the 8-Ball while he was cueing up for the pink 4. The resulting foul was all that Orcollo needed to seal the deal, capitalizing on the careless mistake to clean up the table. From there, the Pinoy cue-master never looked back as he was able to score three unanswered racks in the race-to-6 contest to claim the  6 – 2 win and secure his well-deserved slot in the round of 32.

After the match Orcollo said: "In this race-to-6 stage, it's important that you start the match well. Any mistake can easily lead to a loss because it's such a short game and the players are so talented. So far, I'm pleased with how I am playing, and I look forward to bringing this momentum to the next round, and hopefully all the way to the championship."

Below are the players through to the next round:

(From winner's bracket)
Dennis Orcollo (PHI) def. Adam Smith (CAN) 6 – 2
Yukio Akagariyama (JPN) def. Ari Hartanto (INA) 6 – 3
Jundel Mazon (PHI) def. Rico Herman (INA) 6 – 0
Ibrahim Bin Amir (MAS) def. Sahroni (INA) 6 – 3
Carlo Biado (PHI) def. Thorsten Hohmann (GER) 6 – 5
Rudy Susanto (INA) def. Lum Wai Keong (SIN) 6 - 4    
Ko Pin-Yi (TPE) def. Irsal Nasution (INA) 6 – 2  
Herwinto (INA) def. Rudy Alfian (INA) 6 – 2
Raj Hundal (GBR) def. Hendra Lesmana (INA) 6 – 0
Kuo Po-Cheng (TPE) def. Yudharman Kamarudin (INA) 6 – 1
Johnny Archer (USA) def. Stevei Moore (USA) 6 – 5
Jech Limen (PHI) def. Candra (INA) 6 – 1
Chang Jung-Lin (TPE) def. Mika Immonen (FIN) 6 – 3
Roberto Gomez (PHI) def. Goh Chin Teck (SIN) 6 – 0
Shane Van Boening (USA) def. Siaw Wieto (INA) 6 – 2
Muhamad Junarto (INA) def. Harry Sitanggang (INA) 6 – 1

(From loser's bracket)
Thorsten Hohmann (FIN) def. Ari Karaya (INA) 6 – 0
Heru Gunawan (INA) def. Lum Wai Keong (SIN) 6 – 0
Irsal Nasution (INA) def. Johan Purwanto (INA) 6 – 2
Stanza Purba (INA) def. Rudy Alfian (INA) 6 – 1
Adam Smith (CAN) def. Imran Ibrahim (INA) 6 – 5
Ari Hartanto (INA) def. Ralf Souquet (GER) 6 – 5
Warren Kiamco (PHI) def. Rico Herman (INA) 6 – 3
Sahroni (INA) def. Tony Chandra (INA) 6 – 5
Mika immonen (FIN) def. Riyan Setiawan (INA) 6 – 4
Goh Chin Teck (SIN) def. Irwan Supriyatna (INA) 6 – 2
M Bewi Simanjuntak (INA) def. Siaw Wieto (INA) 6 – 3
Muhammad Zulfikri (INA) def. Harry Sitanggang (INA) 6 – 5
John Salazar (PHI) def. Hendra Lesmana (INA) 6 – 1
Yudharman Kamarudin (INA) def. Ricky Zerna (PHI) 6 – 4
Alun (INA) def. Stevie Moore (USA) 6 -2
Candra (INA) def. Ronato Alcano (PHI) 6 – 5

Telecast of the 2011 Guinness World Series of Pool – 10Ball challenge will be carried LIVE on STAR Sports, with fifteen hours of exhilarating competition from July 15 - 17, 2011. Broadcast times are as follows:
Sat, July 16, 2011                   from 12.00-18.00 (HKT)                        Quarterfinals
Sun, July 17, 2011                  from 11.00-16.00 (HKT)                        Semifinals & Finals
TV Schedules subject to change without prior notice.