WPC Day One Complete

After twelve gruelling hours of play on eight tables, the opening day at the 2004 Taiwan World Pool Championship is now complete.

With twelve groups having completed seven matches and four having played six, plenty of players finished with two wins from two matches including Malta's Tony Drago in Group 2 who looks the part after his semi-final spot in 2003.

The Tornado over-powered India's Alok Kumar 5–1 on the TV table and then took American Corey Harper apart in a comfortable 5–0 win top head the group.

Also in Group 2, qualifier Dennis Orcollo (Philippines) and the 1993 finalist Thomas Hasch of Germany took maximum points from their opening games.

Another Filipino hope Lee Van Corteza has opened his account in a positive fashion, getting the better of Taiwanese superstar Ching-Shun Yang on the TV table and then grabbing both points against Michael Schmidt, the methodical German.

Room-mates Charlie Williams and Mika Immonen both bagged a pair of wins in Group 6 to lead the pack. For Williams the start came as a welcome relief after failing to make it to the last 64 in Cardiff last year.

Alex Pagulayan, who acclimatised himself with some serious practice in Manila en route to Taipei, is confident that he can at least repeat last year's runners-up spot and he got off to a flier with a brace of victories in Group 8.

The public of Taiwan certainly get behind their pool heroes and there is no idol greater than two-time WPA World Champion Fong-Pang Chao. A big home-town support saw him post victories over European duo Stefan Sellberg and Martin Kempter to head up Group 10, where he is joined at the top of the table by Warren Kiamco of the Philippines.

Other ‘two out of two' men from Saturday evening's groups include former champion Oliver Ortmann, local hope Ying-Chieh Chen, US Open holder Jeremy Jones and unheralded Argentinian Jorge Llanos.

There is plenty to play for and action continues Sunday midday local time.

Click here for the latest group standings