Finns oust Bata-Django en route to pool crown
MANILA, Philippines - Finland's Mika Immonen and Petri Makkonen broke the hearts of the home team and the home crowd Saturday night and roared on, topping the Americans then the Poles last night to rule the 2012 PartyPoker.net World Cup of Pool Finals at the Robinson's Place Manila activity center.
Immonen and Makkonen sustained a steady game through five matches, capping their brilliant performance with a 10-8 win over Karol Skowerski and Wojciech Szewczyk to win the coveted crown and the $60,000 that went with it.
Skowerski and Szewczyk had an incredible run of their own before wavering in the closing racks of the finale, enabling the Finns to become the newest toast of World Cup of Pool.
The Polish duo kept their cool until the 16th rack where Szewczyk completely missed the one ball while trying to snooker it.
The Poles committed more blunders as the pressure built up, and the Finns simply took advantage, sweeping the last three racks for the two-rack victory.
The Finns went all the way to the top after making their first-ever WPC finals with a 9-7 win over Americans Shane Van Boening and Rodney Morris in the semis.
In the quarters late Saturday, Immonen and Makkonen scored heavily on breaks and runs as they hurdled Filipino pool icons Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante, 9-5.
Immonen added the WCP crown to his bulging treasure chest that included his 2001 world 9-ball title and 2009 world 10-ball crown.
Immonen and Makkonen made a giant improvement from last year where they were bundled out by India right in the opening round.
Ranked just 16th, the Finns turned the tables on the Koreans and the reigning champs Germans to set up the quarters duel with Reyes and Bustamante.