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IPT Challenge Match: Bustamante Brilliant in Break-and-Run Bonanza
Jan 24, 2008, 1:20 AM

Bustamante was the model of power and precision en route to an easy 15-8 victory.
Chicago, Ill. — The only thing that could slow Francisco Bustamante at the second IPT online challenge match on Wednesday night were interruptions in the streaming feed that broadcast the live action over the Internet. The elder statesman of Filipino pool was nearly flawless in a 15-8 dismantling of American Cory Deuel, taking down the winner-take-all $5,000 prize.

Hosted at OnAirr Studios in Chicago, the second IPT one-on-one match — this one billed as an East vs. West showdown — was dominated by Bustamante, who showed both precise position play and creativity.

Deuel, who had spent hours on table the night before to perfect his break, won the lag and quickly broke and ran the first rack. But once Bustamante got to the table after Deuel missed an inadvisable carom, “Django” assumed control of the match. He won eight straight racks, including five break-and-runs.

With Bustamante leading, 5-1, the IPT live Internet broadcast was knocked off the air. According to IPT officials, the server user by VitalStream, the streaming service provider for the match, unexpectedly shut down at about 8 p.m CST. Frantic staffers attempted to suss out the problem, and eventually went to a contingency plan, bringing the broadcast back up by 8:25 p.m.

Once it became clear that VitalStream could handle the broadcast again, the program was again taken offline at 8:40 p.m., so the IPT could switch back to VitalStream, according to IPT Tour Director Deno Andrews. The broadcast was back up by 8:48 p.m.

Leading 8-1, Bustamante missed a tricky cut on the 6 ball — his first miss since the second game. Deuel looked sharp as he worked his way back into the match. He closed the gap to 11-7, courtesy of a finesse break that used medium speed to consistently pocket a ball in the side. A missed combination in the 19th rack, however, allowed Bustamante back to the table.

Bustamante continued to break up clusters and cleanly navigate racks. He cleared the table after forcing Deuel to foul, then broke and ran two straight to reach the hill, 14-7.

After a Deuel miss at 14-8, Bustamante lost position on his way to the final 8 ball. In the most spectacular shot of the night, he blasted a thin cut on the 8 for the victory.

Bustamante finished the match with eight break-and-runs, posting an impressive rate of 53 percent. Deuel broke and ran out in four of his seven game wins.

At the conclusion of the match, Andrews announced the next challenge match would take place March 5. The technical difficulties experienced during Wednesday's broadcast — which also included a popping sound in the audio portion early in the match — did not dissuade him from further pursuing the Internet as a venue for the tour.

"Am I disappointed [with the technical problems]? Incredibly," Andrews said. "There isn't a perfect delivery mechanism. From time to time, there will be technical difficulties. ... We'll try to work it out.

"It's one thing if it's our fault, and it's another if it's out of our reach."