Orcollo captures World Pool tilt

Money-game shark $20,000 richer

Philippine Daily Inquirer


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MANILA, Philippines?Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines wiped out an early two-rack deficit with precise shot-making to rip Japan?s Toru Kuribayashi, 8-3, on Monday, and rule the 2010 Party Poker World Pool Masters 9-ball tournament at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Regarded as the best Filipino cue artist yet to win a world title, Orcollo proved unstoppable once he got going in the winner?s-break, race-to-eight format and kept the dumbfounded Japanese glued to his seat in the last seven frames.

It was actually the second straight come-from-behind win for the former fisherman from Surigao, who earlier bundled out compatriot Roberto Gomez in their semifinal confrontation.

?It?s tough playing catch-up because of the winner?s break format, and the match being just race-to-8,? Orcollo, who beat Gomez, 8-6, said in Filipino. ?It?s a good thing that my game clicked at the right time.?

Orcollo, a feared money-game shark anywhere in the world, won $20,000 (roughly P900,000) out of the total kitty of $100,000.

It was the second straight win for a Filipino in the US pool circuit with Lee Vann Corteza topping the Annual Hard Times-Mezza Cues 10-Ball Open in Los Angeles last week.

Kuribayashi, the best player to come out of Japan lately, took his place in the title match after showing the door to veteran German Oliver Ortmann, 8-3. He settled for the $10,000 runner-up purse.

Orcollo was at his best in the key stages of the tournament, yielding just a total of 12 frames to his last three opponents. He won his quarterfinal match-up with unheralded Canadian John Morra with the same score he posted in the finals.

Gomez, who burst into national prominence when he made the finals of the 2007 World 9-ball championship only to lose to Englishman Darren Appleton, took out former world champ Ralf Souquet of Germany, 8-5, in the quarterfinals.

Ortmann, a familiar campaigner in the Philippines, and Gomez each won $5,000 as semifinalists. Musong R. Castillo

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