Friday, 6 November 2015

Patrick Chang Wins Steinway Classic

From left to right, 2015 U.S Open Champion Cheng Yu Hsuan, Hsu Kai Lun, Steinway winner Patrick Chang, Runner up Ko Pin Chung, Markus Noé, 2015 World 9 &10 Ball Champion Ko Pin Yi and Chang Jung Lin. Photo taken by Mandy Wu. 
By: Markus Noé

Tuesday November 2nd saw the remaining 8 players return to find out who would be the 4th Annual Steinway Classic Champion. Jayson Shaw vs Ko Pin Chung squared off in the winners side final four match. By the time I got to the pool room this match was just being completed and Shaw was explaining to a few spectators his loss to Chung who apparently played flawless. In the other winners side match in this bracket Warren Kiamco was up against Patrick Chang. This was a thrilling match with it going all the way down to the wire at 8-8 race to 9. Unfortunately for Kiamco he scratched off his final break allowing Chang to run out for the win.

While waiting for the winners side final to begin against Patrick Chang and Ko Pin Chung, Darren Appleton eliminated Kiamco and Shaw did the same to Nick Van den Berg 9-5 and 9-6. The fourth place match between Shaw and Appleton did not last long as Shaw hit his gear and won 9-4 in what seemed like less then 30 minutes.

Chung vs Shaw 
This next match was to me the most impressive performance of the tournament in my opinion. Shaw earned himself a rematch against Chung. Perhaps in the back of Shaw's mind there was some doubt as he just lost to Chung in not only dominating fashion, but Chung did so with a chilling calmness and accuracy that can make you feel as if you will never get an opportunity. That being said Shaw did come out firing full of confidence from his previous match and was up 3-0 in minutes. Then it was a mid rack error from Shaw that allowed Chung to the table.  Chung then proceeded to run this rack out and 4 more to go up 5-3 a very impressive feat considering they were playing 10 ball call shot and call safety.

 The three time reigning Turning Stone Classic Champion seemed perplexed after this. His body language began to change and when he did finally have a chance at the table he made uncharacteristic errors. It was almost as in his head he felt as if this hill was too much to climb.In the end he made a little bit of a comeback but lost 9-6.

Patrick Chang 
The final match was an all Taiwanese affair something that has been common this year has Taiwan as been dominating all the major tournaments. Despite his early loss to Chang, the younger Ko brother Chung came in as a favorite to win the title. This match started off with both players exchanging racks and the score remained fairly close. At 5-5 Chang began to pull away in this extended final race to 13 and eventually won 13-11 to become the 4th Annual Steinway Classic Champion.

Overall my first experience at Steinway Billiards was fantastic. Keeping in mind I traveled 7 hours from my hometown of Cornwall, Ontario population of 46,000, seeing what I call "big city pool action" was thrilling. Immediately upon walking through the doors Sunday afternoon I was taken over by how many spectators came to watch and bet the matches. The entire 3 days of my trip I felt comfortable in this atmosphere as everyone was very accommodating. There was literally people from all over the world at this event and we were all there for the same purpose to either play in this tournament or appreciate the world class talent that was in front of us.

For those that have never been to this event it is really hard to imagine that so many players ranked in the top 50 in the world were all in one pool hall. During the day we all watched as champion after champion played one another in the tournament and at night those who did not fair so well would be looking for "challenge matches" to recoup expenses and even make a little money.

I had the pleasure of watching John Morra play two challenge matches while I was at Steinway. The first was against Jorge Rodriguez. Morra who is currently ranked 8th in the world had to give the wild 8 to the Gotham City house pro. For those not familiar with this it means that if Rodriguez makes the 8 ball he wins the rack. To be honest I remember thinking to myself I did not really like the game. I have never seen Rodriguez play live until this week but have seen him play a lot on various streams over the past few years. I have seen him play at a very high level and I was a bit concerned. These concerns were to me were validated when Morra went down 4-0 early however in a blink of an eye it was 12-7 Morra and then he went on to win 21-14.

Morra vs Gomez 
The other match I watched was Morra vs Roberto Gomez. This match kept me up till 5:30 am and I was scheduled to leave the city at 6:30 am. This was a much tighter affair, however I felt Morra had much more to offer in this match but fatigue was obviously setting in and he lost 16-15. From here I went back to the apartment we were staying at got my things together and hit the road back home.

I would like to thank William Finnegan and Tony Robles for hosting a great event and giving me everything I needed to cover this for Cue Sport Nation.  They are both very professional and ran a smooth and classy event. Also I would like to thank my sponsor David Touhey of Touhey Management located in Ottawa, Ontario for helping me get to Steinway. He is one of the single biggest supporters of pool I have ever met. My partner Erik Hjorleifson and myself would like to be on the road more often to bring you, the "Nation" more results and the overall experience of life on the road for the top players in the world.

 From the response on our Facebook page and website during the U.S Open, Turning Stone and the Steinway Classic it is apparent there is a need for this type of coverage. However we cannot do it on our own. Therefore we invite you to go to to donate. If you are interested in becoming a cash sponsor or product sponsor I can be contacted at I would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

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Top 3 Payouts

Patrick Chang $7500
Ko Pin Chung $5000
Jayson Shaw $3000 

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