World Cup of Pool – Ko brothers clear first hurdle as Italy advance

The Ko brothers

Round 1 Results
Chinese Taipei 8 – 4 Russia
Italy 8 – 6 Hong Kong
CHINESE TAIPEI, a perennial powerhouse of the world pool scene, has advanced to the second round of the 2011 World Cup of Pool with a comfortable 8-4 victory over Russia at the SM City North Mall in Quezon City, Philippines.
The Taiwanese were represented by brothers Ko Pin-yi (22) a former WPA World Junior Champion and his 15 year-old brother Ko Ping-chun - the first time siblings have competed in the World Cup.
Their opponents Russia, with Ruslan Chinakhov and Konstantin Stepanov on board, looked to have been in with a chance but the clinical Taiwanese were too good from the off. The Russians stayed with them in the early stages but always trailed as the Chinese Taipei brothers looked relaxed and confident.
They were never put under sufficient pressure and looked to have a couple more gears available to them if the need arises. They now meet Italy in the second round, who came from behind to beat Hong Kong in a scrappy thriller.
The World Cup of Pool takes place at the Block Atrium at the SM Mall North in Quezon City, Manila. It features 32 two-player teams representing 31 nations – hosts Philippines have two sides. The total prize-fund is $250,000 with $60,000 going to the winning pair.
It was Hong Kong's Lee Chenman and Kenny Kwok who were in the driving seat throughout their round one match against Italy, as the Italians laboured. Leading 4-2, the methodical Kwok and his partner looked to be putting some distance between them and their opponents, but Chenman missed an easy 9 ball to gift the rack to the Italians.
Instead of 5-2 to Hong Kong, it's was 4-3 and the turning point, and when the Italians won the next it was game on. Hong Kong, though, kept their noses in front as they moved to 6-5. A mistake from Chenman lets the Italians in for 6-6 and they win the next two to take the match.
"We're pleased with the result and happy that we stuck with it when we were behind but we will have to play a lot better in our next match which we can do," said Petroni.
The 2011 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by, the world's leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Star Xing Pai and the Official Cue is Predator.
Results to date – Round One
Singapore 8 – 7 USA
Philippines A 8 – 2 Austria
Estonia 8 – 6 England
Thailand 8 – 4 Holland
Germany 8 – 0 Australia
Malaysia 8 – 6 France
India 8 – 7 Finland
Philippines B 8 – 4 Kuwait
Korea 8 – 5 Spain
Japan 8 – 3 Croatia
Switzerland 8 – 5 China
Sweden 8 – 7 Indonesia