Entering the semifinals of the World Pool Series 8-Ball Classic Championship, Jayson Shaw wasn’t feeling well.
A meal from the previous night had upset his stomach and the Scotsman spent most of the early morning hours awake dealing with nausea and taking pills to relieve the ailment.
“I still feel inside like my stomach is pretty tight,” Shaw said after the match. “My head was sore earlier. That’s why I was throwing up.”
In order to take his mind off of his health, Shaw instead focused on his match with Eklent Kaci. Although his gut was far from healthy his game appeared to be in top form as Shaw used two dazzling and timely kick-ins to handily defeat the two-time WPS champion at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania Friday afternoon.
“I just tried to focus and calm myself down. I’m trying to focus more on my game because it’s easy to just keep focusing on being sick.”
Shaw pounced early, using dry breaks from his opponent as well as a couple of timely missed shots by Kaci to win six of the first eight games – including the sixth game in which he found himself snookered and kicked off of the near corner rail and pocketed the 8-ball in the side pocket. The Scotsman then won five consecutive racks to take an 11-2 lead while Kaci failed to find a serviceable break shot in the match’s middle stages.
Shaw saved some of his most superlative and creative shot making for the end. Leading 11-3, he appeared positioned to extend his lead once again in the 15th game but left the 11-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws. Kaci responded by playing a safety which left the cue ball completely hidden at the far end of the same side of the table as the 11-ball. Shaw lifted his cue and executed a table-length kick masse shot, pocketing the object ball then bouncing out just far enough for position on the game-winning 8-ball.
Kaci struggled with his break shot throughout the session, breaking eight times overall and failing to pocket a ball in six of those. He also was plagued with unforced errors, missing shots in the fourth, fifth and 11th games and scratching while attempting a bank shot in the 12th rack.
“He made a few mistakes that he doesn’t normally make. I put him under pressure and that’s what happens when you put someone under pressure: they make mistakes,” Shaw said. “Sometimes when he’s in front he’s hard to catch, but if you put pressure on him he will miss.”
Shaw advances to the finals where he will face a familiar opponent in Chris Melling at 6 p.m. local time. In addition to staying with Shaw when he’s competing in the United States, Melling also has been rooming with the reigning U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion at the hotel in Romania this week.
The 8-Ball Classic Championship is the third event of the four-tournament 2018 World Pool Series. This event will be held at the IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania from August 7th to 10th 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Rasson, Aramith, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Outsville, and the WPA.
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
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