World Pool Masters Day One: Defending Champion Souquet Falls

David Alcaide took advantage of a 9-ball break in the final game to eliminate Ralf Souquet

The 2007 World Pool Masters got underway this afternoon at the Hotel Zuiderduin in sunny Egmond aan Zee, as defending champion Ralf Souquet suffered a shock exit at the hands of Spain's European No.12 David Alcaide.

Event promoters Matchroom Sport had made the decision NOT to tap the balls into the table, and that proved telling as there were four golden breaks including a victorious one for Alcaide in the 14th and final rack.

Souquet, looked the better player throughout as Alcaide struggled with his positional play. However, the 28 year-old from Malaga stuck with it and when Souquet missed a relatively easy 4 ball with the scores at 6-6, the Spaniard seized the opportunity.

Alcaide made no mistakes as he ran through the remaining balls to take the lead for the first time at 7-6.

Just when he needed it, Alcaide delivered a golden break as the 9 ball got a fortuitous nudge from the 7 ball to help it into the corner pocket and seal an 8-6 win.

After the match Alcaide explained how the golden breaks came about; “The problem was that there was a gap between the 1 ball and the second ball in the pack and this allows the 9 to roll towards that corner pocket. You just play a normal hard break shot and watch it roll.

“The turning point for me was when Ralf missed the 4 ball and that gave me a good chance to finish off the table and of course, I made the golden break to win in the next.”

Germany's Oliver Ortmann made it through to the next stages with a comfortable win over Naoyuki Oi, who became the third consecutive Japanese player to exit the third round of this event.

Ortmann, who won the pre-tournament warm-up event in Amsterdam on Thursday night, always looked in control although the flashy Japanese player had his moments with some spectacular pots.

In the final match of the afternoon session, Scotland's Pat Holtz won an error-strewn encounter with the highly-fancied Li He-wen of China, a semi-finalist at the 2006 Philippines World Pool Championship.

Both players struggled throughout as the pot-success rate fell by the rack. Holtz opened up a 3-0 lead before Li came back to get his nose in front at 6-5.

The Scotsman though dug deep and held on the secure a fine victory. "I never give in, the guy always has to beat me. Getting close is not good enough," said Holtz.

"I didn't feel nervous but I played some poor shots. I was struggling with the pace of the table and under-hitting and over-hitting, which cost me a couple of frames.

"It was a shaky match for the two of us and both of us were new to the event and you want to make a good impression, maybe we were trying too hard."

First Round
David Alcaide (Esp) 8 – 6 Ralf Souquet (Ger)
Oliver Ortmann (Ger) 8 – 3 Naoyuki Oi (Jap)
Pat Holtz (Sco) 8 – 6 Li He-wen (Chn)

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