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Veterans Top Day Two at the World Tournament in 14.1 as Ray Martin, Allen Hopkins, & Mike Sigel Get Wins Over Top Seeds

Posted on by GeoffPoolJunkie

Ray Martin shooting against Oliver Ortmann (Photo by Charles Eames)

Ray Martin shooting against Oliver Ortmann (Photo by Charles Eames)

By NYC Grind Contributor, Geoff Conway “Pool Junkie”

Ray Martin vs Oliver Ortmann

Tuesday the 30th of August will long be remembered by Ray “Cool Cat” Martin, as the day he beat Oliver “The Machine” Ortmann on the TV table, and showed us all that at 76 years old, he still possesses the talents that won him his three World Titles back in the 70’s.

On Monday, Ray won his two matches easily, but not against world beaters… whereas yesterday, he had to play the reigning champion on the TV table. I, for one, thought that the younger Ortmann would have the edge in this one. Well, it did not take many minutes to see that Ray was not a pushover, as we saw from his magical safety play, in which he absolutely took control of the table.

With the score in the favor of Mr. Martin at 85 to 52, Oliver ran fourteen balls to put the score at 85 to 66. However, he left himself a long break shot, which he missed. The crowd got very excited at this point, as they were expecting the underdog to run out. Oops. Ray only made one ball, then missed. More ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd!

Oliver got to the table and only managed to run nine balls before missing. The general opinion of those watching is that Ray will run out from here and get the win. Unfortunately, he first had to deal with the 90 degree cut on the break ball behind the pack. The veteran slices the ball into the corner pocket only to witness the cue ball miraculously go straight through the pack and scratch in the side pocket.  At this point, we were wondering if Ray would ever get to the finish line?

Well, Oliver got down to business and made twenty-three balls before missing again. But, he left Ray up table with no loose balls to shoot at, with the score at 89 to 86 in Oliver’s favor.

However, the wry veteran spotted a dead 10 ball in the pack. He made the ball, but let whitey loose around the table. As the cue ball came to rest within an inch of the side pocket, he yelled out, “Wow, I didn’t scratch!” At this point, it was all she wrote for last year’s champion, as he could do no more than sit and ponder his fate in the event.

Oliver Ortmann watches Ray Martin at the table, an uncommon position for the 2010 champion (Photo by NYC Grind Contributor, Charles Eames)

Oliver Ortmann watches Ray Martin at the table, an uncommon position for the 2010 champion (Photo by NYC Grind Contributor, Charles Eames)

As the last ball dropped, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation for a World Champion from yesteryear who displayed all the great facets of the game that propelled him to the top several decades ago. Wow, what a match!

I interviewed Mr. Martin after his victory, and when I got to the question, “Just what does it mean to you to have beaten last year’s champion, and how does it feel to being inducted into the 14.1 Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening,” he tried to answer, but his eyes welled up and the tears said it all.

Yesterday, I witnessed a true champion and a real gentleman who showed all who were watching, just how deserving he is of his Hall of Fame status.

Allen Hopkins vs Mika Immonen

Allen Hopkins – Hall of Famer and multiple World Champion did not arrive until Tuesday due to storm problems at his house in Jersey and a cat bite that almost cancelled his visit to this event. Hence, he had to play three matches almost one after the other. Well, this may have been good for him to get his eye in as he disposed of his first two opponents, leaving his toughest opponent for last. Yes, he was in the last match of the night to be played on the TV table against last year’s runner-up Mika Immonen.

After winning the lag, Mika soon picked up on a loose ball that Allen left him after the break, and ran out the first two racks. However, Mika missed after only making one ball, and Allen proceeded to take the score from 29-0 to 29-27. But, Mika took over at this point, and quickly had the score to 55-30. Allen pulled it back to 55-44, but then missed. At this point, it looked as though Allen had missed his chance, and that Mika would get the win.

Mika got the score to 70-42, but pocket safes himself in the bottom corner pocket. He attempts a difficult three ball combo, but missed. Allen jumped on this mistake and pulled away to a score of 98-83, but misses. Oh my god, he has blown it, we all thought! Mika made one ball and leaves only one shot behind the pack, and it is a two ball combo on the bottom rail. The first ball is almost on the rail and the second is further from the rail. Not a gimmie, by anyone’s standards. Bingo, he missed, leaving the ball sitting in the pocket. Mika lost his cool at this point and hits the balls with his stick, forfeiting the game.

What we had here was another veteran World Champion from literally another era, beating one of the top players in the world. They say that once you can ride a bike that you never forget how to do it. I think you get my drift! Another view on the results, would be never take your opponent lightly!

Mike Sigel vs Oliver Ortmann

This was a day that I am sure Oliver Ortmann would like to forget, with a loss to Ray Martin earlier in the day, to then follow it up with a match against Mike “The Mouth” Sigel… and was about to get a lesson in what a run out is all about.

Mike Sigel in the heat of battle on Day 1 (Photo by NYC Grind Contributor, Charles Eames)

Mike Sigel in the heat of battle on Day 1 (Photo by NYC Grind Contributor, Charles Eames)

Mike won the lag to start the match, and Oliver broke and left a long shot for Mike. In turn, Mike ran out a hundred balls in no time.

That’s it folks, not much to write about, other than it was clinical, and a lesson in great pool from a world-renowned player who has lost none of his magic at the table, and also still has a way with words at the table as his chatty antics do no more than motivate him through the rack.

Mike Sigel is now guaranteed to get into the last 32 players standing, and I must admit that at the moment I do not see too many players in the field that can stop him taking this title. However, we thought the same last year at this point, but it never happened!

Leaders in Round Robin Format:

Players with five wins should be a lock on getting into the last 32. Players with four wins generally should also make the last 32.

Johnny Archer 4 wins and 1 loss (93)
Ralph Eckert 5 wins 0 losses
Dennis Hatch 4 wins 2 losses (69)
Rodney Morris 4 wins, 0 losses
Brandon Shuff 5 wins, 0 losses
Jose Parica 4 wins 1 losses (60)
Kunihiko Takahashi 5 wins 1 losses (92)
Charlie Williams 5 wins, 0 losses
Alex Pagulayan 5 wins 2 losses (68)
Tony Robles 5 wins 1 loss (65)
Stephen Cohen 4 wins 1 loss (60)
Mike Davis 5 wins 2 losses (64)
Thorsten Hohmann 5 wins, 0 losses

To watch live feature matches of the 2011 World Tournament in 14.1 visit www.insidepool.tv.

For the latest updates on match brackets and other news, visit www.WorldStraightPool.com, and check out the latest Dragon Promotions press release with more news here: www.dragonpromotions.com/news/08312011a.html

More to come tomorrow in news from the World Tournament in 14.1 here on NYCgrind.com…

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