Dao Van Ly takes 3rd place in Billiards World 3-Cushion Survival 2023

Despite being ranked 124th in the world and entering the tournament through the qualifiers, billiards player Dao Van Ly managed to outperform numerous top 15 world players, securing third place in the Billiards World 3-Cushion Survival 2023.
Billiards player Dao Van Ly secures third place at the Billiards World 3-Cushion Survival 2023

Billiards player Dao Van Ly secures third place at the Billiards World 3-Cushion Survival 2023

The event concluded on August 20 in South Korea.

In the semi-finals at noon on August 20, eight players were divided into two groups of four players competing in a Survival format. A player who hits once gets 3 points and deducts the remaining three players 1 point each. After 90 minutes, the two players with the highest ranking will proceed to the final.

Tran Quyet Chien, ranked 10th in the world, and Dao Van Ly continued to be in the same group for a third time, sharing the same table with two seasoned billiards players, namely top-ranked Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands and the 13th-ranked Polychronopoulos from Greece.

Being the player with the lowest rank on the table and lacking recognition in the world billiards scene, Dao Van Ly was seen as an underdog, which puts him in a comfortable mindset. Because of this, he played with great confidence, leaving the three world-class players astonished.

During the initial turn, he launched a series of 5 standard points, while the other three opponents failed to score. By the third turn, Dao Van Ly continued his momentum with a 7-standard-point series and followed it up with a 4-point series in the fourth turn, significantly extending his lead over the remaining competitors. At that juncture, the billiards player hailing from Da Nang had amassed 59 survival points, placing him ahead of the second-ranked contender, Dick Jaspers (31 points), Polychronopoulos (19 points), and Quyet Chien (11 points). This translates to a notable 7-standard-point margin over the runner-up.

Meanwhile, the hope of Vietnamese Billiards, Tran Quyet Chien, had an extremely disappointing match. His unfavorable psychological state led to his shots not going as intended. In the first six turns, Quyet Chien failed to score any points, gradually narrowing his chances of advancing.

At this very moment, Dao Van Ly was on a roll, hitting a 5-point series to reach a total of 75 points, wiping out Quyet Chien's points. This means he had used up the 30 points given by the tournament organizing committee in the first round, requiring him to borrow an additional 30 points allocated for the second round to continue playing. Despite scoring 3 points in the 7th turn and 4 points in the 8th turn, Vietnam's top-ranked billiards player still found himself at the bottom of the leaderboard after the first round.

As the second round commenced, Dao Van Ly led with 87 points, followed by Polychro with 65 points, Dick Jaspers with 51 points, and Quyet Chien with 27 points. However, the following 45 minutes brought about no substantial shifts. Ultimately, Dao Van Ly (81 points) and Polychronopoulos (65 points) emerged as frontrunners, securing the two coveted tickets to progress to the finals. On the other hand, Dick Jaspers (45 points) and Tran Quyet Chien (49 points) became spectators.

In the final match at night on August 20, Dao Van Ly was placed in the same group with 13th-ranked Polychronopoulos, 12th-ranked Kim Jun Tae, and 7th-ranked Tasdemir. Notably, he showcased an impressive performance against these formidable opponents.

During the 6th turn, the billiards player from Da Nang flawlessly executed a 9-point series, catapulting himself to the forefront until the first round concluded with a tally of 57 points. With Polychronopoulos (37 points), Tasdemir (25 points), and Kim Jun Tae (one point), Dao Van Ly secured a lead of at least 5 standard points over other contenders.

Nonetheless, the tide swiftly shifted at the outset of the second round, as Polychronopoulos executed a 6-point series in the second turn and a 7-point series in the third turn, propelling him past Dao Van Ly to seize the lead. And the twists did not stop there—Tasdemir unleashed a 10-point series in the third turn and a 6-point series in the 5th turn, elevating himself to the second position and relegating the Vietnamese player to third place.

As the match approached its final minute, a hush descended over the entire arena, all eyes fixed on Dao Van Ly as he readied himself for his last turn. At that moment, Polychronopoulos had completed his play with 80 points, cementing his position at the forefront. Meanwhile, Tasdemir (76 points) held onto second place. Dao Van Ly secured 56 points in third place, leaving him trailing the leader by a margin of 6 standard points and the second-place player by 5 standard points, with one last shot remaining.

Should he successfully complete a 6-point series, he would tie with the leader's score. Meanwhile, achieving 7 points would undeniably elevate the Vietnamese player to the championship, entitling him to a substantial prize of US$50,000.

The suspense reached its climax as Dao Van Ly skillfully executed a 4-point series. Needing just one more point, he could have equaled the second-place player's score. Two points would have brought him level with the leader. However, in the subsequent shot, the cue ball's trajectory aimed directly at the target ball was clear; unfortunately, it frustratingly slipped through a gap.

Dao Van Ly managed to score only 4 points, leaving him 2 points behind the champion, Polychronopoulos, and a mere one point behind the second-place player, Tasdemir. Nonetheless, securing third place was an exceptionally triumphant outcome for a player ranked outside the top 100, competing among the elite ranks of the 14th world-ranked players.

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