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Shocks galore at the World Pool Masters
May 11, 2008, 11:10 AM

Imran Majid
THERE were shocks galore on the second day of the PartyPoker.net World Pool Masters.

Current US Open Champion Shane Van Boening, five-time Masters winner Ralf Souquet, former European No.1 Niels Feijen and 2007 World Champion Daryl Peach all crashed out at The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Van Boening was first of the four to be eliminated as he lost 8-4 to Englishman Imran Majid, Souquet lost to newcomer Ko Pin-yi (Chinese Taipei) 8-3, before Feijen was beaten 8-7 by Mosconi Cup team mate Tony Drago in the match of the competition so far.

Majid, who was watched by his parents, was at his best as he cashed in on a tough breaking table and some missed pots from Van Boening.

“I played pretty good, better than I expected but not 100 per cent”, said Majid. “Shane missed two or three balls but I feel I’m more experienced in Matchroom TV events.

"Having my parents in the crowd was a real inspiration and knowing they were in the audience really helped me get over the line. They’ve never seen me play before and I felt I can’t miss a ball with them watching. I’m looking forward to playing Bustamante in the next round and over this format, I can’t beat anyone.”

Ko, 18, is regarded as one of the best teenage players in the world. “Before the match I was very excited and a bit nervous," said Ko. "Souquet is a very good player with a great safety game, but he didn’t play so good today."

"I played good today though. I had three good run outs and if I play like this tomorrow I have a chance to win the tournament,”

Ko now meets Drago in the quarter-final after the Maltese star beat Feijen. The Dutchman trailed 6-2 before winning five of the next six racks in a thrilling hill-hill clash but Drago eventual won through.

“What a game," said Drago. "If I’d have lost that I would have been very disappointed. Niels is a real fighter and such a great player. Since the Mosconi Cup last December, I don’t feel as if I can lose a game. That gave me so much confidence as a pool player.

“I was very nervous before the game but I was as calm as anything during it. Really, I was enjoying the nerves. The game changed as I outplayed him in the first half and he outplayed me in the second, but it was a very good win for me.

“The American fans are great and they love their pool and I’m looking forward to playing Ko in the next round. He’s a tough player and won’t be afraid of me. He’s going to try and blow me away and I’ll be trying to do the same to him.”

Daryl Peach, the 2007 World Champion, was another big-name early casualty as he lost 8-2 to Finland's Mika Immonen.

Peach was never really in the match as he made too many unforced errors for a player of Immonen’s caliber.

The Finn, who spends most of his time living and playing in the United States, has featured in the Masters many times over the years. However, he has never made it to the business end of the tournament but on this form he will be one of the favourites for Sunday’s final.

“I think I made just one error in the match while Daryl made a lot,” said Immonen. “He seemed confused out there and I gained confidence from his confusion. I was able to outsmart him and I felt really composed."

Deuel defeated Germany's Christian Reimering 8-5 in the other first round match but the American was not impressed by his own performance.

“I didn’t play real good but I made a few good outs. I think I was rushing because of the shot clock,” said Deuel.

“Some of the shots I played were ‘make it up as you go along’ shots but that’s part of my game. I enjoyed it but I was very nervous, but then I always get nervous. I felt like I was going to win though.”