Saturday, July 29, 2006

Final Six Set to Battle at the IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship

Eighteen players came into Friday’s rounds with high hopes, but only six will return for Saturday’s matches. Friday was the most grueling and intense day of all at the North American Open 8-Ball Championship. Every player played five rounds, which amounted to around 12 total hours of match time, and every game counted to make it into the final 6!

The players who went home after Friday’s rounds didn’t go empty-handed, though. Each of them earned $30,000. The International Pool Tour has given away $1,316,000 so far, and by the time Sunday’s final match is over, $2,000,000 in prize money will have been paid out!

There was a big crowd for today’s matches, and it’s only going to get bigger, considering the amount of money and the quality of play. Efren “Bata” Reyes went undefeated today, winning five matches in a row non-stop despite the grueling schedule. Also qualifying from his group was the enigmatic Evgeny Stalev from Russia.

Ralf Souquet has already won two major tournaments this year and qualified to return tomorrow with a 4-1 record. Will he be the one to take the $350,000 prize? Joining him from that group is Filipino Dennis Orcollo, definitely a strong contender. Orcollo had to fight his way onto the tour at a qualification event in Bellflower, CA, proving his mental and physical toughness.

The last group came down to the wire, as everyone awaited the outcome of the Thorsten Hohmann/Marcus Chamat match. From being down 7-4, Hohmann pulled back into the game to come within two and then broke and ran the last two. He cemented his spot in tomorrow’s matches with that win, and Marlon Manalo, though tied with Chamat as far as games, advanced because of his games-won percentage.

The minimum that a player can win in tomorrow’s rounds is $40,000, with third place receiving $80,000. Second place earns $99,000, with an unprecented $350,000 going to first place. Keep watching the IPT’s website for more information and stories.

Click here for tournament results, statistics, pictures, and stories from the IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship!
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