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Under Pressure: Final Matches Decide Players' Fates
Sep 8, 2006, 12:51 PM

Every ball counted in the final matches of round four at the International Pool Tour's World Open. In a very tight match that saw some excellent play from both opponents, Francisco Bustamante dealt Oliver Ortmann his first loss of the day in a double-hill nail-biter. Bustamante will enter the fifth round of the event undefeated.

Ortmann wasn't too concerned, however, as he and other German counterparts Ralf Souquet and Thomas Engert advanced to round five. Both Engert and Souquet went 4-1 in round four.

Of the nine U.S. players who began round four, only four advanced. Charlie Williams was on fire, with his only loss for the day coming from Rodney Morris, 8-6, in the final match of the day. Both Williams and Morris will advance. Cory Deuel went three for five in a tough bracket that included Alex Pagulayan, Ronato Alcano, and Mika Immonen. In the last round, Deuel met Alcano and won 8-6, breaking and running two racks, to a chorus of cheers from his supporters, including cornerman Gabe Owen.

Alcano missed the cut by a couple of games, but four Filipinos will head into Friday’s matches: Bustamante, Alex Pagulayan, Dennis Orcollo, and Efren Reyes.

Spain’s David Alcaide looked unbeatable in a group including British 8-ballers Darren Appleton and Michael Hill, Australian Quinten Hann, American Jason Kirkwood and Neils Fiejan of the Netherlands. The last matches were dramatic in this group, with Hill, Hann, Fiejan and Kirkwood all in a four-way tie with two wins apiece.

Hann broke and ran four racks to give Alcaide his only loss of the day, while Hill handed Kirkwood an 8-5 loss. Niels Feijen needed to win against Appleton in the final match to advance. Appleton looked distressed, as he knew statistically he would not advance — his friends feeding him a sip of beer to console him on the sidelines, and Feijen squeaked by with a 8-5 win. When he realized he did, he let out a sigh and exclaimed, “Wow. That’s pressure!”

Other Europeans who will advance are Fabio Petroni, Karl Boyes, Dimitri Jungo, and Mika Immonen.

Eighteen players will play in Friday’s rounds, and only six will make it through to Saturday. Eighteenth place will pay $30,005 and seventh pays $41,995. After that, the amounts begin at $50,000 for sixth place all the way up to $500,000 for first. The pressure is on at the World Open 8-Ball Championship, which has the biggest prize pool in the history of the sport of $3,000,000 total.
Visit www.internationalpooltour.com to sign up for live streaming video of the matches.