Only eight remain at the 2023 World Pool Masters in Brentwood, Essex after 2021 champion Alexander Kazakis and two-time winner David Alcaide exited the tournament live on Sky Sports in the UK.
Kazakis came into the tournament looking to replicate a magical tournament in 2021 where the Greek freely admits he ‘became a man’ but he faced close friend and a player on a high in Mario He of Austria. He won the lag and proceeded to break and run the opening two before a golden break in the third put him in firm control. A further run out in the fourth rack saw Kazakis with a mountain to climb. At 5-2 up, He fouled when going airborne to make the five allowing Kazakis in to try and make his mark on the match but that was to be shortlived despite getting it back to 5-5.
An individual Matchroom title seems only a matter of time for He and the two-time World Cup of Pool winner will fancy his chances with the break seemingly right at the top of He’s weaponry with another golden break helping him to the hill at 8-5 before closing out for an impressive 9-5 win.
Shane Van Boening came into his match against Alcaide looking to win his first World Pool Masters crown since doing the double in 2014-2015 but he knew it would be a tough ask against another player with so much pedigree in the tournament. Alcaide went 2-0 up after a huge fluke on the nine and it looked soon to be three but an uncharacteristic miss on the nine in the third saw Van Boening leap up and make him pay with three racks on the spin to lead for the first time.
It’s well documented that the new break is something Van Boening is yet to fully get to grips with and it showed early doors. Alcaide hit the front at 5-3 before the South Dakota Kid had his time to finally get a break and run in to level at 5-5. That moment was a huge turning point in the contest as Van Boening rallied to reach the hill first with three without reply. A poor safety from Van Boening in the 14th rack put Alcaide back in the mix to finish up and keep it alive at 8-6. In the 15th, Alcaide broke dry and Van Boening duly obliged to finish up to set up an enticing quarter-final clash tomorrow night with Ko Pin Yi.
Van Boening said: “I was feeling the pressure out there and David was feeling it too. We were both missing balls but then I got my head into it. David has won it twice and you have to take matches as they come and pick up on mistakes.”
The quarter-final matches get underway from 12 pm UK time tomorrow with Max Lechner against two-time champion Niels Feijen before James Aranas meets Wiktor Zielinski.
Watch live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Spain, Italy, and Brazil as well as on Viaplay in the Netherlands, Poland, Scandinavia and the Baltics. If no broadcaster is available in your country, watch the action on Matchroom.Live. See where to watch in your country here.
The World Pool Masters returns to the UK for the first time since 2015 with a fresh look as the field reverts back to 16 players with 14 of the 16 automatically earning their place from the World Nineball Tour Rankings with two wild cards completing the field. Round 1 matches are Race to 9 with quarter and semi-final encounters Race to 11 before the final stretches to a Race to 13 for the first time. The prize fund has also been bolstered to $125,000 with the winner taking home $40,000.