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Mentality of Round Five: Stay Alive
Sep 8, 2006, 2:20 PM

It is survival of the fittest here as round five matches are under way at the Grand Sierra Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. The 18 remaining players have been divided into three groups of six, each player a formidable opponent.

GROUP ONE:
David Alcaide, the Spaniard who qualified for the event along with Daryl Peach in The Netherlands, has rarely wavered.

Francisco Bustamante of the Phillippines. Can he continue his undefeated streak for a perfect record? Currently leads the break-and-run race, with 65.

Karl Boyes, 23-year-old British 8-ball player was handed his first loss yesterday by Jose Parica. He knocked out Marlon Manalo, and his confidence far exceeds his years.

Hsia Hui-Kai, "The Assassin" from Tapei. His diminutive stature is no indication of his skill.

Americans Cory Deuel and Rodney Morris: Deuel has hung on with white knuckles, while Morris still is right behind Bustamante with 64 break and runs (tied with Oliver Ortmann).

GROUP 2:

Ralf Souquet, seems to be getting stronger as the days wear on. He went 4-1 yesterday, and currently has a 62.67 games-won percentage.

Danny Harriman, the last remaining American qualifier. sneaked through after a hill-hill win against Tony Drago in the final match yesterday.

Niels Feijen, the chiseled blonde from The Netherlands, was looking tense last night, among a four-way tie to qualify. With girlfriend Katherine watching, he managed to squeaked through. "I was really tight last night. It was really a lot of pressure, so I said if I want to win the event, I've got to loosen up and start running racks." He's looking strong today, with a comeback win over Charlie Williams, who was ahead, 7-3.

Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines is an 8-ball aficianado. He is beatable however, as proved yesterday, but he got through with an 8-2 win over France's Yannick Beaufils.

Mika Immonen, Finland's finest, played solid yesterday, but has already lost his first match, 8-7, to Dennis Orcollo, and stayed after to practice his break over and over.

Charlie Williams, one of four remaining Americans, looked unstoppable yesterday, but his pattern-play is lacking, as revealed by a few costly errors against Feijan in his first match of round five.

GROUP 3:

Dimitri Jungo, the young, slicked-back Swiss player, is one to watch. He has already posted a decisive win over Michael Hill, 8-4.

Alex Pagulayan, the Filipino turned Canadian, has entertained the crowd with his antics as usual, jumping around the table like a monkey last night in his deciding match. He has a mere 55.4 games-won percentage.

Oliver Ortmann and Thomas Engert of Germany. The two masters of precision will face off today.

Michael Hill had a rough day yesterday, knocking out his best mate, Darren Appleton, and barely making it through himself. He pockets balls without effort and has a keen sense of pattern.

Efren Reyes, the Filipino pool God, came out on top of his group last night. His endurance could be a problem, and his break is not favored, but he's known to perform miracles.

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