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Drago, Dragon Take Titles
Sep 2, 2003, 6:15 PM

Tony Drago of Malta is making a splash in 9-ball circles after years as a snooker pro. He gave the 9-ball world his notice by reaching the semi-finals of the WPA World Pool Championships earlier in the summer, and now he's proved his worth with a first-place finish at the 2003 World Pool Masters, in Egmond aan Zee, Holland. Drago defeated Taiwan's Hui-kai Hsia, 8-6, in a tense battle highlighted by a handful of Drago's lightning-fast run-outs. To get to the final, Drago took matches from Earl Strickland, Nick van den Berg and Alex Pagulayan. The 37-year-old potter was elated by his success. "To win this was something else for me. I enjoyed it so much, and the crowd here were fantastic the best in the world. I'm starting to play more and more, and 9-ball will be a big part of my future," he told event promoter Matchroom Sport. Drago's win earned him $20,000.

On the other side of the ocean, American pool pro Charlie Williams was busy winning his second title within a two-week span. Williams' 13-8 victory over Ronnie Wiseman in the finals of the 2003 Capital City Classic, comes right on the heels of his Big Apple 9-Ball Challenge win last week in New York City. To take the Capital City win, Williams powered through 9 straight games after being sent to the losers' side by Wiseman early in the tournament. Williams took $8,500 for first place, while Wiseman settled for $4,700. Cory Deuel and Luc Salvas took third and fourth, respectively.

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