Chipperfield is on top of the World!

World Champion Shaun Chipperfield

Hundreds of players from around the world descended upon Blackpool for this year’s 8 Ball Pool World Championships. The standard was frighteningly high with numerous World Champions, past and present, including Mick Hill, Tom Cousins, Phil Harrison, Adam Davis and John Roe amongst a host of top players such as Australia’s Jake McCartney and James Delahunty, Ireland’s Karl O’Donoghue and England’s Karl Sutton and Lee Kendal to name but a few.

The pre-tournament favourites were UK tour champions Mick Hill and Phil Harrison but with a field this strong picking the winner was never going to be easy. Two early casualties were found in the form of Giuseppe D'Imperio and Tom Cousins, finalists in 2014 but dispatched in the last 64 of this year’s tournament, beaten by Shaun Chipperfield and Tom Church, respectively.

Next up it was former champion, and UK tour 4 winner, Adam Davis’ time to depart as he was clinically taken apart losing 8-1 to the 2015 U18 World Champion Aaron Davies in the last 32. Davies will no doubt be one to look out for in years to come.

The quarter-finals threw up some interesting match ups. On the top half of the draw the two pre-tournament favourites battled it out against England’s Karl Sutton and Ireland’s Stephen Dempsey. Dempsey will no doubt rue his missed opportunities to dispatch Harrison, letting a good lead slip away before ending up on the wrong side of a 9-8 score line. Sutton on the other hand showed why he is considered to be one of the England team’s strongest players with a fine 9-5 victory over reigning champion Mick Hill.

On the other side the draw had arguably opened up somewhat with past champions having been defeated it was a very open half and UK tour players Shaun Chipperfield and Richard King made the most of this with victories over Miguel Falzon and Michael Scerri, respectively.

The semi-finals found Karl Sutton vying for his first World final appearance but with his opponent being former champion Phil Harrison, who had only a day earlier been crowned as 2016 World Masters Champion, it was not going to be an easy ride. In a close fought game Sutton managed to hold his nerve and run out a 10-8 winner.

The other semi-final, a battle of the qualifiers, saw a few early mistakes from King being heavily punished by a confident Shaun Chipperfield who took an early 7-1 lead. King managed to claw back a couple before some more unforced errors left it open for Chipperfield to clear for an impressive 10-3 victory.

With a World Championship final being a new encounter for both players nerves were likely to play a part and whilst Sutton took out a finish from the break in the first frame it proved to be Chipperfield who would settle in quickest taking a 5-2 lead and continuing to play in the care free fashion that had seen him despatch of several top players. Sutton had the opportunity to reduce the lead to 2 but missed the black and this proved crucial as, after sharing the next two frames, Chipperfield took a 7-3 lead into the break. Sometimes the break can be a pivotal point in a game with the leading player dropping off but this was not to be the case as Chipperfield provided a relentless display of potting ability clearing up at every opportunity and running out an 11-4 victor, taking the hard earned and well deserved title of 2016 World 8-Ball Pool Champion!