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Chang Jun Lin wins the 2012 World 8-Ball Championship
 Posted on Friday, February 17 2012 @ 22:19:08 UTCby admin
8 Ball WPA Etisalat World 8-Ball Championships 2012
The Fujairah Tennis & Country Club
United Arab Emirates
www.wpa-pool.com - Groups (.pdf file) - Live score - Photos

12-17 February 2012



Taiwan's Chang Jun Lin has won the 2012 World 8-Ball Championship, with an impressive and conclusive 11-6 victory over compatriot Fu Che Wei.

Call it a case of the student surpassing the master.

Taiwan’s Chang Jun Lin, who for the last ten years has been a pupil of fellow countryman Fu Chei Wei, did his pool teacher proud by winning the 2012 World 8-ball Championship, convincingly beating Fu in an all-Taiwan finals in Fujairah, 11—6.

Chang’s performance today, which started with a gritty 9-7 semi-finals win over England’s Chris Melling, vaulted him atop the pool playing world and deservedly so. Chang’s ability to read patterns, his even-keel demeanor, and his dead-eye potting skills, were all on display throughout the week in Fujairah and carried him through world class competition all the way to his first world championship.

The fact that Chang has learned much about pool and life at the feet of the 38 year old Fu, added a fascinating twist to what had become an all-Taiwan 8-ball party in Fujairah. The 26 year old Chang began studying the game from Fu at the age of 16. Despite traveling the world in the last few years, the two had never played each other in an international event.

The fact that these two ended up in the finals of a world championship was amazing result. As is the case in most pro tournaments, the tournament was constantly in a state of flux, with a single small roll of a ball determining outcomes of matches and careers. But by the time the finals rolled around, it was clear that the two hottest players this week had made it. Like Chang, Fu was playing red hot pool the last few days and had never come close to defeat. His 9-3 beat down of China’s Liu Haitao in today’s semi-final was just the latest in a string of powerful performances.

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Both players were playing at about the same high level so it was difficult to predict who would come out on top in the final. But one thing was perfectly clear in this tournament; dry breaks and only one missed ball invariably lead to instant punishment from the other player. And that’s exactly how this match played out.

Fu won the lag but missed an early ball which Chang pounded on for the clear and a 1-0 lead. Chang then coolly broke and ran the next rack for a 2-0 lead. Fu broke dry in rack three and when Chang couldn’t convert a long pot, Fu also missed and paid the price for a three rack deficit.

The deliberate Chang doesn’t normally let big leads like this get away, but Fu decided it was time to make a match of it. Fu finally got on track when he broke serve in the next rack after Chang scratched on the break. He broke and ran rack 5, then broke serve in rack 6, and broke and ran rack seven for a 4-3 lead. That, however, was the last lead Fu would see in the match.

From there Chang stepped on the gas and took the next four frames, which included two break and runs, one clear off a dry break, and a cleared table from a Fu miss, all for a 7-4 lead and a vice grip on the match.

At this point Fu’s energy level seemed to wilt, while the tall and burly Chang just kept motoring along. Fu got one back, but Chang kept on going, punishing a single mistake by Fu, and breaking and running when he had the break. Chang made Fu pay for a mistake to go up 8-5. Then broke and cleared for a 9-5 lead. Fu got one consolation rack before Chang closed out his first world championship in style; a break and run, and clear off a Fu miss.

Afterward Chang was understandably highly emotional not just about his amazing accomplishment, but about the man who had helped him get to the top of the mountain, who happened to be the same man he had just beaten to get there.

“It’s like a dream,” Chang said through an interpreter. “To be a world champion. It’s something I dreamed about for a long time. I didn’t feel any pressure playing him. He taught me more than just how to play pool. He taught me how to be a man in real life, how to carry myself, how to behave and lead your life, don’t criticize and get down on yourself too much. Lead with you actions not your words. He is not just a teacher but a big brother to me, and a good friend.”

For Fu, the result brought on mixed emotions as his long cherished journey to his first world title ended in a losing battle with his very own pupil.

“I played bad in the final,” Fu said, still able to laugh and joke . “I felt like I ran out of energy. I’m very happy for him. I’m proud. But I think I would have preferred to have played a player from another country.”

For winning the World 8-ball Championship, Chang won $20,000, while Fu takes home $15,000



World 8-ball supremacy, along with $35,000 in cash, is assured of a home in Taiwan for the next year, as Fu Che We and Chang Jun Lin both won their semi-final matches this afternoon at the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club.

The all-Taiwan final between Fu and Chang will begin later today at 5pm local time(GMT +4). The match will be a race to 11, alternate break.

Fu completely dominated China’s Liu Haitao winning easily 9-3. Fu has been playing red hot 8-ball in the last few days, breaking well and barely missing any balls. It’s a recipe for success in professional 8-ball and has brought the veteran campaigner into his first world championship final.

Chang’s semi-final match vs. Chris Melling was much closer but the 26 year old from Taipei put in a brilliant performance in overcoming the confident Englishman. Melling raced out to a 2-0 but then saw Chang, with his deliberate style, crawl back in the match.

Chang took the lead at 4-3 and never looked back. Melling had trouble all afternoon with the break, consistently coming up dry. Chang took advantage and built up a 6-3 lead. Melling battled back to 6-5, but Chang broke and ran for a 7-5 lead. Melling again broke dry in rack 13 and Chang pushed the lead up to 3. Melling had one last fight back, moving the score to 8-7. But Chang held his nerve in rack 16 to get over the finish line first.

The winner of the World 8-ball Championship will receive $20,000, while the runner up will receive $15,000.

The WPA will be providing up to the minute coverage of the finals on its website, www.wpa-pool.com, including live scoring of the match , as well as blow by blow coverage via the WPA’s Twitter page, @poolwpa.

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