Mon, Nov 21, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Yang Chin-shun wins US$20,000 in Super Cup pool

By Sean Scanlan  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Yang Chin-shun (楊清順) took US$20,000 in first-place prize money at yesterday's Green Time Super Cup tournament held at the Core Pacific Mall. He beat a field of 14 competitors in the single-elimination tournament.

Prior to the win, Yang, a 27-year-old native of Kaohsiung, was a third place finisher at the World Pool Championships in 2002, and had second and third-place finishes at the San Miguel Asian 9-ball Tour last year.

His final match was an 11:8 win over 26-year old Chang Pei-wei (張裴偉), an opponent who finished in second place at the World Pool Championship last year, though he has recorded no top finishes in any major events this year.

The championship match was close in the early going, with player's locked at 2:2 and 3:3 before Yang took advantage of a few fortunate rolls, racing out to a 9:2 lead.

Chang battled back, making tough shots and stringing together a number of racks to level the score at 10:8. A scratch on Chang's final break left the door open as Yang ran the table and sealed the victory.

"The table wasn't a problem for me," Yang said after finishing a quarterfinal match earlier in the day. "I'm used to playing with pockets that are 1.8 inches in diameter. This is the typical size we use in Kaohsiung."

Yang said he has been playing pool since the age of 14. Since then, he's received instruction from a number of experienced players, although he's had no formal coaching. Prior to a major tournament, Yang undertakes a full week of intensive practice.

Earlier in the day, Yang fought a close quarterfinal match against 42-year old Philippine native Francisco Bustamante. Yang prevailed 7:6, playing in an aggressive style while rarely opting for safety shots. He instead used a variety of kick-shots and jump shots to eke out a narrow victory.

Bustamante then faced Effrem "The Magician" Reyes in an all-Philippines match for third place. Feeling like more of consolation match, Reyes cruised to a comfortable 4:0 lead, giving Bustamante few chances at the table as he quickly won 7:2.

Reyes, a favorite among professional pool players for his innovative shots and quiet demeanor, claimed a US$7,000 paycheck for his effort.

The home court advantage may have proved useful for local players, who benefited from vocal fans. Though he did not make it to final day of competition, Earl "The Pearl" Strickland was upset with the hometown audience, and what he described as "clapping when you miss."

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