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IPT Round Two Complete: Women Weeded Out, Rule Controversies Continue
by Mason King Sep 7, 2006, 9:18 AM EST

The pressure was very real in round two of the International Pool Tour's World Open, with 120 players remaining, and half of them to be eliminated by day's end. A new method of determining player payouts made every stroke even more significant, as payouts are now based on games-won percentage, instead of overall finish.

In the case of several players, it was the difference of a few percentage points between elimination and advancement to round three, a potential difference of several thousand dollars.

The six remaining women in round two (two more than last event) did not make the cut. Jasmin Ouschan, who was the first female to qualify for an IPT event, won three of her matches, but so did Imran Majid and Alex Pagulayan, both of whom had higher games-won percentages.

The games-won percentage hurt George Breedlove as well, who missed advancing by two-tenths of a percent. Hall of Fame member Mike Sigel was also eliminated in dramatic fashion, in a sudden-death match against snooker star Quinten Hann of Australia, 8-5. “If he beat me he was in—if I won, I was in," said Hann, who didn't allow "The Mouth" to get to him. "He just mouthed off a little, which was all fun, I got involved and started mouthing off because I just like to stir things."

The tight-knit group of British 8-Ballers made a big impression, with two of them, Karl Boyes and Mick Hill, remaining undefeated after two rounds. Also included on that list: Francisco Bustamante, Gabe Owen, and Mika Immonen.

Of the 60 players who advanced, 19 were from the U.S., and five won qualification events in order to compete. Qualifiers Steve Moore, Jason Kirkwood advanced with four wins each and Danny Harriman went undefeated in round two.

There's a lot to see at the event, staged at the Grand Sierra Casino & Resort. In addition to the most competitive 8-ball in the world, the glitzy set-up and lifesize black and white images of players, lit dramatically against the black-curtained ballroom, you can also see some of the world's best players crawling on top of the tables.

Controversy ensued when Harriman removed his shoes and climbed on top of the table to reach a long shot when he was on the hill, 7-4, against Johnny Archer. Archer refused to shake his hand after Harriman won the match.

"It's a gray area right now," Tournament Director Deno Andrews said, though he did admit, "It's really inappropriate to be climbing all over the table and laying on it." Andrews noted that the one-foot rule may be instated in this event or next.



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