New Brunswick, New Jersey- Overcoming mother nature, The World Tournament went on relatively unscathed on Day 1. Dragon Promotions accommodated players stuck in traffic, floods, and disaster zones to make their matches rearranging times in the grueling round robin format.
A full field of 64 players started a full day of 14.1 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Hotel in the World Tournament arena. Oliver Ortmann overcame two cancelled flights, a whole day delay, arrival in a far off city, car rental and 4 hour drive to make his matches at a chance to defend his title and win a 3rd World Tournament 14.1 title.
"It was unbelievable. Three days of traveling and dealing with changes in cities, planes, etc. Even last night once we got near the hotel, the roads were closed so we had to stay at another nearby hotel till it cleared in the morning. And now I goto rest, and get ready for the evening matches", said Ortmann of his arduous journey.
Most of the top seeds advanced unscathed, including Ortmann. One upset was USA's Max Eberle win over former World 14.1 winner Stephan Cohen of France. Mika Immonen will have a tougher sleep when he led 95-30 against Dennis Hatch, before Hatch ran a 70 and out for the 100-95 win. "Alex did the same ting to me last night in the Warm-Up. When you miss in straight pool, you're not sure if you will shoot again", said hatch. A glimmer of hope for the USA?
Ray Martin won his first 2 matches handily. The 76 year old super veteran ended his day on a high note to the delight and applause to the audience with his wins over Peter Burrows and Chris Riley. Tomorrow will be a tester as he faces Jose Parica, Oliver Ortmann, and a much anticipated match with Mike Sigel!
"I'm not sure if we have ever played each other straight pool. Ray was just a little before my time", said Sigel.
"It feels nice to still win. Dragon Promotions has done such a wonderful job producing this event and promoting my induction into the 14.1 Hall of Fame. I think I'm going be very teary eyed on Wedneday night," said martin.
Ray Martin won the World 14.1 Championship in 1978. Sigel won the next year. This could be history in the making tomorrow night at 8:30pm! The match will be live streamed on www.insidepoolmag.com
Insidepoolmag.com will be streaming matches starting from 10am to midnight tomorrow with many marquee matches with Ortmann, Sigel, Immonen, Martin, and many more 14.1 legends.
Checkout www.worldstraightpool.com for full groups and other 14.1 news from the event
For the sixth straight year, Dragon Promotions will produce the 71st Annual World Tournament of Straight Pool August 28- September 2 . In partnership with the support of Dr.Michael Fedak, this year's event will have the biggest payout in straight pool history with $20,000 going to the champion. The event is $35,000 added , boasting a total $70,000 in the prize fund. Predator Cues will also be sponsoring the event for the sixth straight year at the luxurious Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ. Once again the greatest straight pool players from around the world will arrive on USA's east coast again to attend this prestigious event. Their common goal will be to play for the coveted World Tournament of 14.1 title and be recognized as the #1 Straight Pool Player on Earth. The World Tournament is the oldest tournament in history that still exists today. Invented by Jerome Keough and shortly after recognized as the official game of billiards. The first World 14.1 Tournament was held in 1911 and won by Alfredo DeOro. In its history due to war and economics, the World Championships had 29 tournaments that did not take place including a 15 year gap between 1990-2005 until Dragon Promotions revived the game and the World Tournament in 2006.