The inaugural Acorn Pool Challenge match took place on 8th December at Shoot Pool and defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory by the elite Thai pool players in this exciting sporting encounter.
A complicated scoring system was implemented in the pool challenge between Pattaya Thais v The Rest of the World and it was the same as the Ryder Cup points system, where a match could be won, drawn or lost and the first team to 13½ points would take the trophy. Basically it was a race to 27 frames. The Acorn Challenge Trophy was at stake, along with 12 winning gold medals, and 12 runner-up medals.
The Rest of the World team: Alan, Robbie, John, Robbie, Colin, Elias, Captain Sam and Tom.
The match was going at a furious pace, with the Thai Elite team always ahead, and looking to show their superior pool skills. They had star player Oan, Auto the captain from Pooks Bar, with his friend Toey, Zak a top class player from Sweethearts Bar, Dang from the Links Bar, Bo from Shoot Pool with his friend Tom, plus Suntar and Tom, both pool champions.
The match progressed, at a fast pace with Pattaya Thais in front all the way. In the last phase the score stood at Pattaya Thais 26, RoW 20. The Thais only needed 1 more frame to win this prestigious trophy and the gold medals. Who could predict what would happened next?
Sam Beavers the RoW captain rallied his team, and ordered them in no uncertain terms not to lose another match. It was an inspiring captain’s motivational speech. The RoW had to win all of the next 6 frames to take it to a tie. And that’s just what they did.
Young Elias from Sweden won his 2 matches; a doubles match with 2 Americans went 2-0 to the RoW and when Robbie from Ireland and John from America took the next 2 frames to level the match the Thai players were visibly shaken.
What happened next was incredible, the match stood at 26-26 in a race to 27. The two captains decided to have 5 players each side taking alternative shots to decide the final outcome. Auto, the Thai captain, chose himself, Oun, Zak, Dang and Toey, definitely the 5 five strongest Thai players and they where surely the favourites.
Sam from the USA chose himself, Elias from Sweden, Robbie from Ireland, John (USA), and Richard from England.
You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife – every shot was vital and all team members were having their in-put on how to play it. It ended with the RoW having five balls left, while the Thai team got first shot at the winning black (8) ball to win the match. It fell upon Dang from Links Bar… it wasn’t easy, but it was half a chance. You could feel the pressure as he hit it but it wobbled in the jaws of the pocket and stayed out.
Thai Elite players: Toey, Captain Auto, Joe, Sunta, Bo, Aon, Tom and King.
The RoW stil had it all to do but under intense pressure first Robbie from Ireland potted his ball, then Richard potted the next ball, and gained good position, the Thais looked worried. John was next and after a huge debate went for a difficult shot, potted it and left decent position for the wonder kid from Sweden to do what he does naturally pot the last ball and leave his captain with a shot on the final 8 ball. Wow the pressure was on. Sam Beavers would get this ball 9 times out of 10 but this was going to be one hell of a pressure shot. Did he make it? You bet he did. Shoot Pool erupted from the RoW side and the Thais where devastated.
But we move on and hope next time more people can join us to watch some of the finest pool players in Pattaya playing this beautiful game.