Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Shane Van Boening First Big Win Overseas
By: Erik Hjorleifson
Last week saw the annual World Pool Masters title up for grabs in Nottingham, England. The event is a 16 man invitational tournament in which players are invited by the promoters Matchroom Sport. The field is made up of players from across the globe with an emphasis on including talent from different regions. The bulk of the field is from Europe and this year the representatives from other parts of the world were Alex Paguayan (Canada), Shane Van Boening (USA), James Giorgiadis (Australia), Wang Can (China) and Waleed Majid (Qatar).
Stand outs from Europe included Darren Appleton, Thorsten Hohmman, Mika Immonen and Neis Feijen. In the end there could only be one winner and Shane Van Boening came out on top with his first major win on overseas soil after about 15 major wins on U.S. soil.
The first round saw a few minor upsets, the strength of the field is so strong that it is hard to call any of the results in this tournament major upsets, especially considering that it was only a race to 8 winner breaks format.
Notable results from the first round included:
Alex Pagulayan 8 Darren Appleton 6
Shane Van Boening 8 James Georgiadis 6
Chris Melling 8 Dennis Orcollo 6
Daniele Corieri 8 Neils Feijen 4
The quarter finals were a little more predictable as the Europeans once again showed their strength in the sport as 3 of the 4 semi finalists were from Europe. Chris Melling defeated recent World Cup of Pool champion Karl Boyes 8-6, Karol Skowerski ended Daneile Corieiri's run with an 8-3 scoreline. Nick Ekonomopolous who was coming off a third place finish a few weeks back at the U.S Open, beat Alex Pagulayan 8-3. The lone player from outside of Europe, Shane Van Boening, got one step closer to his first International triumph with an 8-4 victory over Mark Gray.
The semi finals saw Van Boening moving on with an 8-5 win over Chris Melling who admittedly has not been playing any pool in the past year, he is now focusing his efforts on playing professional snooker and has had some promising success so far. Ekonomopolous looked vey strong in an 8-3 win over 2012 World Pool Masters Champion Karol Skowerski from Poland.
This set up the final match-up with two of the hottest players in the game at the moment, Ekonomopolous and Van Boening. For Van Boening this would be his first major final in singles play overseas. The anticipation of this day has been many years in the making as Van Boening has been so dominant in the U.S. and was yet to break the ice internationally.
Although Van Boening is regarded as one of the worlds best, and for many people their pick for top player in the world, their opinion could always be countered with the lack of Shane's success outside of the U.S.A. All the naysayers would have to be quiet at least on this day as Van Boening won in convincing fashion taking home the title 8-2. After the match Van Boening said he "had been waiting for this day for a long time", and considering his professional attitude and likeable style at the table I'm sure his fans were happy to see it come as well. It will remain to be seen how many titles he can rack up including World Championships in the years to come.
1st Shane Van Boening $20 000
2nd Nick Eknomoplous $10 000
3rd/4th Chris Melling $5000
5th/8th Alex Pagulayan $2500
9th/16th Waleed Majid $2000