Ko Pin Yi has won the 2023 World Pool Masters title in Brentwood, Essex beating Eklent Kaci in the final 13-5 live on Sky Sports in the UK and broadcasters worldwide.
Kaçi won the lag and took the first rack with a break and run out and the second should have soon followed with a 6-9 combo but the nerves got the better of the Mosconi Cup winner to allow Ko in for his first rack and to level up. Ko looked more comfortable out there early on and broke and run in the third to go 2-1 up. It was cagey early on from both players as they struggled to get going with the scores locked at 2-2 before a deep safety battle where eventually Kaçi pulled through to lead the contest.
Any small error was to be pounced on by the two players and it proved the case with Kaçi leading 4-3, a dry broke led Ko to then run through the following racks and soon assert a 7-4 lead and with an imposing position pushed on to break and run in the 12th and 13th rack to a 9-4 lead.
Ko did falter in the next rack though as he was left chasing the cue ball to keep his run alive allowing Kaçi to sweep in and cut the deficit to 9-5. The hope for Kaçi was short-lived though as he scratched off the break and then proceeded to scratch again after Ko fluked safe on the six. It meant Ko was only three from victory.
Another long safety battle took hold in the following rack with Kaçi clearly feeling the heat. After safety, Kaçi had a chance on the five but left it well wide of the mark to leave Ko in for a simple run out to reach the hill in quick time. In the final rack, Ko broke well and finished up with a clever 3-9 carom to secure his first major victory since 2015.
It wrapped up an epic run from Ko that saw him overcome Jayson Shaw in the opening round 9-1 before knocking out Shane Van Boening in the quarter-finals 11-7 and an impressive semi-final win against James Aranas 11-9 to reach the final.
Ko said: “It feels so good. The World Pool Masters was the one I wanted to win. After I beat Jayson (Shaw), I thought already about winning and jumping on the table. It was tough but I feel so happy to win this tournament. I knew that the only person that could beat me was myself.”
NEXT WORLD NINEBALL TOUR EVENT
The JFlowers Scottish Open will take place the weekend before the next Matchroom event with the tournament set to be held at McGoldricks Sports Bar in Glasgow with the world’s elite set to descend on one of the UK’s most historic sporting cities for a vital World Nineball Tour Ranking event and tune-up ahead of the UK Open Pool Championship.
NEXT MATCHROOM EVENT
The first signature Matchroom multi-table open event comes next at the Copper Box Arena, London for the UK Open Pool Championship from May 30 to June 4 with the first-ever Jayson Shaw Junior Open taking place on June 2-3. Buy your tickets here from £15.