Just six days ago, it was the quarterfinals of the Seoul 3Cushion World Cup. The time and place were different, but the opponents were the same and the results were the same. At the Seoul 3 Cushion World Cup, the junior defeated Bromdahl, Yaspers, and Martin Horne, all of whom were vying for the world No. 1 ranking and the title, before being defeated by the senior in the quarterfinals. On the same day, he defeated Kim Haeng-Jik and Heo Jung-Han, who were also competing with him for the top spot in the Korean rankings, in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The result was an epic 39-point oxidation.
The only difference was that at the Seoul 3-Cushion World Cup, the junior who was too nervous to play her best shed tears of sadness, but today (Nov. 18), both the winner and the loser were all smiles.
On the evening of the 18th, the men’s 3-cushion final of the ’18th Korea Sports Chairman’s Cup National Billiards Tournament‘ was held at the Yanggu Youth Gymnasium in Gangwon Province. From the start of the match, the four-year senior looked relaxed, while the junior said, “This time is different. I’ll show you something.”
However, the result was 50:11 (19 innings) in favor of Choi. Choi (No. 1 in Korea, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Silk Road C&T) showed a highly sensitive attack with an average of 2.632, while Jeong (No. 7, Seoul Billiards Federation) could only manage 11 points in 18 innings as he was unable to keep up with Choi’s gameplay. Averages 0.611.
In doing so, Choi has now won four of the five national titles he has competed in this year, including the Chungcheong National Championships, Taebaeksan National Championships, Goseonggunsu National Championships, and the Korea Sports Chairman’s Championships. On the other hand, Jeong Ye-sung, who was attempting to win his first national title following his runner-up finish at last year’s Taebaeksan (losing 43:50 to Kim Hyung-gon in the final), had to settle for another runner-up finish due to the high barrier of seniority. This was especially disappointing as he had beaten strong favorites Kim Hang-jik and Heo Jung-han to reach the final. Heo Jung-han (3rd, Gyeongnam Billiard Federation) and Kim Min-seok (Busan City Sports Association) finished third.
Until the beginning of the match, the two players were in a tense tug-of-war. After seven innings, the score was 7:6 in favor of Choi, but in the eighth inning, the game tilted sharply in one direction. After a high-run 12th inning, Cho Sung-woo scored 13 more points in the 9th through 11th innings to extend the lead to 32:6.
After that, Choi didn’t let up on the offensive reins, and Jeong Ye-seong couldn’t recover his attacking touch. In the 17th game, Choi made it 44:9, effectively deciding the match. Cho Sung-woo scored three points in the 18th game and the remaining three points in the 19th game to end the match.
“This is my fourth win this year, but it’s always exciting to win,” said Choi in a brief interview after the match.
“Whenever I play against Jeong, I get a little nervous because he has always beaten strong opponents in the previous stages. (Jeong defeated Kim Hang-jik and Heo Jung-han in the quarterfinals and semifinals of this tournament, and at the last Seoul 3 Cushion World Cup, he defeated Martin Horn of Bromdal Yaspers to meet Choi Sung-woo), but because we are so close, I can keep my mind at ease knowing that it’s okay for him to win.”
“I was nervous at the Seoul 3 Cushion World Cup, but not this time,” said runner-up Jung Ye-sung, “but (Cho) Myung-woo hit so well. I hit 18 and half of them were bank shots. Myung-woo’s defense was too strong.”
Cho laughed it off, saying, “Defense? That’s right, I played a little too hard, haha.”
With the exception of the quarterfinals, Choi has had a generally smooth journey at the tournament. He started with an easy win over Park Chul-woo (Gyeongnam Billiards Federation) in the Round of 128, then defeated Kim Woong-dae (Seoul Billiards Federation) 40:18 in 14 games in the Round of 64. In the Round of 32 and Round of 16, he defeated Park Geun-hyung (Gwangmyeong Billiards Federation) and Cha Myung-jong (Incheon City Sports Association), both with two-point averages.
In the quarterfinals, Choi won a long game (48 innings) against Kang In-Ja (#9, Chungnam Sports Federation), 50:44, and then defeated Kim Min-Seok (Busan City Sports Federation), the tournament’s high run of 20 points, in the semifinals to reach the final.