PartyPoker WCPP 2015 – Down To Last 16
With all matches now taking place in the TV arena at the Alexandra Palace, Shmyrev gets proceedings underway as he faces Luxembourg-based Nigerian Sule Olaleye in a re-run of the 2013 final.
Interestingly all eight of last year’s quarter-finalists are still in the hunt for glory and there are a couple of dark horses there in the shape of transplanted Chinese players Ding Yi (Switzerland) and Hao Mu who is based in Germany.
In the bottom half of the draw, last year’s runner-up Ilija Lupulesku of the USA faces a tough prospect in Germany’s Alexander ‘The Flash’ Flemming, who has looked the part so far. The winner gets to face either lively Scotsman Gavin Rumgay or perennial Dutch contender Martin Groenewold.
Of the last 16 round of 32 matches, only one managed to make three sets although plenty were tight two set affairs. Paul McCreery, backed but a noisy band of Irish fans, got the chants going as he took the first set off dour Russian Dmitri Popov. However his challenge faded as Popov came on for victory.
There was a heart-warming story as 14 year-old Romanian prodigy Vlad Farcas battled out of the group stages and made it through to the centre court. Looking even younger than his years, Vlad had beaten Ferenc Turei of Hungary and then Englishman Joe Kennedy. Watched by his proud father and willed on by the crowd, he couldn’t pull it off as he lost in straight sets to Belgium’s Steve Bovenisty.
All of the Sunday afternoon session is taken up with the last 16 matches, and the remaining eight players compete down to a finish on Sunday evening.