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Orcollo New World 8-Ball King
Mar 1, 2011, 11:03 AM

Not that the otherwise affable Filipino would admit to it, but Dennis Orcollo had to be a bit perturbed he wasn't invited to the 112-man World 8-Ball Championship, held Feb. 19-26 in Fujairah, U.A.E. Instead, the diminutive dynamo, who was not among the automatic invites, despite collecting a number of major titles in recent years, had to earn his spot in the event through qualification tournaments.

Not surprisingly, he got his spot in the main event. And also not much of a shock, Orcollo then outlasted the field to take his first WPA-sanctioned world title.

Orcollo, who earlier this year won the Derby City Classic's 9-ball division, overcame an early defeat from countryman Efren Reyes in group play. With 14 groups of eight players, each flight sent four into a final single-elimination bracket (with the top eight players getting first-round byes).

After topping Mazen Berjawi, 7-3, in his first match, Orcollo then moved into a match of elimination after Reyes topped him, 7-5. But Orcollo responded with a 7-5 win over Joyme Vincente for a spot in the knockout phase.

The 32-year-old opened play with two very different matches against France's best. He whitewashed former 14.1 world champ Stephan Cohen, before narrowly escaping an early exit with a 9-8 win over Vincent Facquet. As it turned out, that match was the last hint of a challenge for Orcollo.

He trounced American Shane Van Boening, 9-4; Takhti Zarekani, 9-2; and David Alcaide, 9-3. The final, against last year's runner-up Niels Feijen, was another exercise in break-and-run pool.

Orcollo opened up the race to 10 by running five straight racks. Halfway home, he watched as Feijen mounted a bit of a comeback, at one point inching within two at 5-3. But after a Feijen miss, Orcollo slammed the door. He broke and ran the next two for an 8-3 advantage, before he scratched on the next break.

Feijen, though, was unable to convert and missed a long attempt in the corner pocket. Appropriately, Orcollo ran the rack and a half for the 10-3 win.

The World 8-Ball Championship is just the latest in a quickly growing list of major titles. In addition to his two titles of 2011, Orcollo also has won the World Pool Masters (2010), Predator International 10-Ball event (2009), Qatar World 9-Ball Open (2008) and the 2007 EnjoyPool.com (BCA) 9-Ball Championship.