In what can only be described as an epic final, Thorsten Hohmann walked away with $350,000 in cash from the North American Open 8-ball Championships.
The tournament was the first event on the 2006 International Pool Tour and when it started last weekend had 200 world class 8-ball pool players battling for a share of the unsurpassed $2,050,000 in prize money.
Over the week the gruelling match schedule of up to 10 hours per day of competitive match play whittled the field down to the final 2. Hohmann the reigning Straight Pool world champion and Marlon Manalo of the Phillipines. Both players had fantastic records throughout the tournament with Manalo only losing 5 of his 8 matches before the final. Hohmann on the other hand had only lost 7 of his - and had beaten Manalo 8-1 in the final group round.
The match was always set to be a classic and the packed auditorium were not disappointed. When either player got to the table they cleared the balls, the only ball in open play that was missed was Manalo that missed a difficult combination shot down the rail.
So if neither player was missing why was the match so close with the winner breaks format? This was don the the tournament long problem of dry breaks. Manalo was the one that really suffered, he was 7-6 up and breaking for the match and did not get a ball. Hohmann then promptly ran out. Hohmann then broke for the match and made a ball an the rest as they say is history.
It was a thoroughly entertaining final match and an excellent advert for the sport and for the IPT. Congratulations go to Thorsten Hohmann.