Ko Pin Yi makes history as the first defending champion in seven years to reach the quarter-final of the 2024 World Pool Masters after defeating David Alcaide in the opening round WRAat Halle39 in Hildesheim, Germany, in partnership with local organiser Moltke Sports and host broadcaster Sky Sports.


Defending champion Ko Pin Yi faced two-time World Pool Masters champion David ‘El Matador’ Alcaide, who aimed to become the second player to win three titles in the tournament.

The opening rack saw Ko Pin Yi lose his lead after missing a 4-8 combo, swiftly executed by Alcaide. However, Alcaide made a crucial error in rack 3, failing to pot the 7 ball and subsequently losing the lead entirely. Seeking to capitalise on Pin Yi’s mistake in rack 10, Alcaide faced a dry break and missed the 3 ball in the following rack, allowing Ko Pin Yi to secure a 9-6 victory, marking the first time a defending champion has advanced through round one in seven years.

Reflecting on his performance following his victory, the defending champion said: “I’m very happy to win the first match because it was a tough contest; my opponent David Alcaide is very skilled.” Ko Pin Yi acknowledged that his adjustment in breaking allowed him to swiftly elevate his game, ultimately leading to his victory over El Matador.

Following in his brother’s footsteps, Ko Ping Chung, the 2023 US Open champion, delivered a masterclass against Polish rising star Wiktor Zielinski. The second rack saw the tournament’s second golden break, setting the tone for Ko’s dominant performance. This was swiftly followed by a remarkable jump shot on the 2 ball in rack 6, propelling Ko Ping Chung to secure his spot in tomorrow’s quarter-final with a commanding 9-2 victory.

The evening session kicked off with a thrilling rematch of last year’s first round, as WNT No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz faced off against the ‘Dodong Diamond’, James Aranas. Like last year, Aranas surged ahead with a 2-0 lead, but Sanchez Ruiz quickly turned the tables, seizing control of the match. The momentum nearly shifted at rack 8 when Ruiz, despite pulling off an impressive positional shot from the 3-4 ball, miscued the 8 ball, giving Aranas a chance to edge closer to victory. However, Aranas stumbled with a dry break in rack 13, allowing ‘El Ferrari’ Ruiz to secure a 9-6 redemption victory over the Filipino cueist.

Superstar Fedor Gorst triumphed over Mario He, despite a setback when he accidentally hooked himself in rack 2, trailing 3-2. Undeterred by the early challenge, Gorst displayed clinical precision against the Austrian, executing a flawless 2-9 combo to reach the hill. He followed it up with an exceptional 3-8 combo, sealing his victory in round one. Gorst now sets his sights on the quarter-final, where he will face off against another Austrian contender, Albin Ouschan, tomorrow.

The evening concluded with an electrifying billiards showdown as Shane Van Boening went head-to-head with Duong Quoc Hoang, making his World Pool Masters debut. Luck seemed to favour Hoang in the early racks, granting him two remarkable flukes of the 2 ball and the 4 ball in rack 4, propelling the Vietnamese player to a 0-4 lead. However, Boening staged a remarkable comeback after Hoang scratched on the break in rack 5, evening the score with a golden break in rack 7 and a fluked 9 ball after sinking the 2 ball in rack 9. Yet, fortune turned against the ‘South Dakota Kid’ in rack 11, as his attempt at a 6-9 combo resulted in a scratch in the same pocket, handing the lead back to Hoang.

Hoang reached the hill in rack 14, but Boening seized the opportunity when his opponent missed a routine 1-ball, allowing the American to force a hill-hill showdown. With nerves of steel, Boening maintained his composure, clinching victory in a gripping final rack and securing his place tomorrow.

The quarter-final of the World Pool Masters kick off from 12 pm CET tomorrow, with Joshua Killer Filler taking on Ko Ping Chung, ahead of defending champion Ko Pin Yi and WNT No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz. The evening sees Albin Ouschan take on Fedor Gorst, ahead of Jayson Shaw and Shane Van Boening to complete the race to 10 quarterfinals.

Watch live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, 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 30th Anniversary of World Pool Masters will maintain last year’s most challenging format, with 16 players competing to take home a $40,000 share from an enticing $125,000 prize pool. Opening round ties will be Race to 9 with the Matchroom break box, magic-racking, and winner breaks in action, with the tournament stretching going to race to 10 for the quarter-finals, 11 for the semi-finals, and 13 for the final.

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