Professional Pool - 2015 Chinese 8 Ball Pool World Championship
24th January - 2nd February 2015 / Yushan City, China
APPLETON THE FOURTH
Darren Appleton continues to etch his name on the list of cuesport greats after securing his fourth different world title at the inaugural ‘China Billiard World Championship’
The tournament was organised by the CBSA, and recognised by the World Pool Association, with the added incentive of ranking points also up for grabs.
The youngest of all table sports, Chinese 8 Ball has grown significantly over the last few years. This event carried $480,000 total prize money; a significant amount that attracted players from various cue disciplines and backgrounds.
23 nations from 5 continents were represented in Shangrao City of the Jiangxi Province. 200 odd players attempted to qualify and reach the 64 player main draw.
Many of the leading lights in both the pool and snooker worlds were given wildcards, and it was world champion material in the final when Mark Selby met fellow Englishman Appleton.
Selby, the current World Snooker Champion, is no stranger to the pool scene. In 2006 he captured the WEPF English 8 Ball World Championship; ironically defeating Appleton in the final.
Before Appleton made his full time switch to American Pool, he was the number one ranked player in the English Pool Professional system. However despite reaching two world finals, he never achieved the small table sports most prestigious crown.
Since leaving his primary cue profession though, ‘Dynamite’ has won a plethora of major pool trophies, including World Championship wins at 9 Ball, 10 Ball and Straight Pool.
And he has now swelled those numbers to a quartet after a tense and nervy affair with Selby in the showpiece match.
The best of 41 rack final was split over two sessions.
Appleton finished the afternoon 11-9 in front, and then extended that advantage by taking the next four racks of the evening proceedings.
But Selby, who is well known for his determination and gritty comebacks, showed how versatile and transferable his attitude is by clawing his way level at 18 all.
He then took the lead for the very first time, and was looking on course for glory as the more assured of the pair.
On the crest of reaching the hill though, Selby unexplainably missed an open pot which allowed his surprised opponent to break for the title.
Appleton duly took his opportunity with both hands, finishing with a run out which left him on his knees crying for joy. Surely relief and revenge for his previous final defeat to Selby all rolled into one.
He will go down in history as the first Chinese 8 Ball Pool World Champion, and collects a $98,000 winners purse.
2015 China Billiard World Championship
Results (from the last 16 onwards) - losers receive $3920 each
Chu Bingjje (China) 13-7 Zheng Yubo (China)
Chen Huqing (China) 13-11 Dai Yong (China)
Darren Appleton (England) 13-8 Yu Haitao (China)
Ma Fan (China) 12-13 Neil Robertson (Australia)
Chris Melling (England) 12-13 Mark Selby (England)
Liu Chuang (China) 13-9 Wang Can (China)
Wu Zhenyu (China) 13-7 Daryl Peach (England)
Liu Haitao (China) 13-12 Waleed Majid (Qatar)
(Quarter-Finals) - losers receive $7840 each
Bingjje 13-7 Huqing
Appleton 13-12 Robertson
Selby 13-10 Chuang
Zhenyu 7-13 L. Haitao
Bingjje 13-15 Appleton
Selby 15-13 L. Haitao
L.Haitao finishes 3rd with $24,500 - Bingjje finishes 4th with 12,740
(Final) - winner receives $98,000 - runner-up receives $49,000
Appleton 21-19 Selby
written by Michael Day, published on 30th June 2015