Figueiredo Blows Away The Whirlwind to Join Doherty, Drago and Pinches in Semi-Finals

Home » Figueiredo Blows Away The Whirlwind to Join Doherty, Drago and Pinches in Semi-Finals

There will be a new name on the Mr Vegas World Seniors Championship trophy after Igor Figueiredo stunned the four-time and defending champion Jimmy White 3-0 to reach the semi-finals for the second time.

The Brazilian will now face ‘The Tornado’ Tony Drago in the last four after he overcame Stuart Watson in the evening session, while Ken Doherty survived another scare against Dechawat Poomjaeng to set up a meeting with Barry Pinches on Saturday afternoon.

Figueiredo previously reached the last four at the Crucible Theatre in 2021, when it was ‘The Whirlwind’ who denied him a place in the title match, and so the Brazilian was out for revenge as he charged into an early lead without allowing his opponent a chance at a pot.

The second frame looked pivotal as White needed a snooker on the blue, but managed to get it, only to allow Figueiredo back in to pot a decisive pink and double his advantage.

White had managed to come from 2-0 behind in his opening match against Andrew Norman the previous day, but this time it wasn’t to be as the visibly frustrated 62-year-old missed a black off the spot to allow his Brazilian opponent in and he duly took advantage of the opportunity to wrap up the whitewash win.

The result means the event is guaranteed a new champion for the first time since 2022 after both former champions White and Darren Morgan fell within the first two rounds.

“It’s a very big victory and important both for myself and for the Americas” a delighted Figueiredo reflected post-match.

“I didn’t play fantastic and it was a nervous game but I think I played solid. I hope to win (the tournament), it would be very important for myself and my history, but also it would help a new generation in the Americas. I want to give this support and this belief to those players.”

Ken Survives Again

Doherty had to once again dig deep to keep his dreams of a maiden Mr Vegas World Seniors Championship crown alive as he came from 2-1 down to defeat Poomjaeng 3-2 and reach the semi-finals for the first time since his heartbreaking final defeat to White in 2020 from 4-0 ahead.

The Irishman, who fell at the first hurdle last year, got off to a slow start as his charismatic Thai opponent took the opener in two visits – but the 1997 World champion hit back in the next with a break of 45 to level the contest.

Poomjaeng moved within one of victory with a break of 50 in the third after Doherty was caught out by the shot clock when using the long spider on an awkward black, but Doherty once again showed his fighting spirit to force a deciding frame with a break of 51.

Just as he had in his opening round victory over debutant Tyson Crinis, the Irishman once again saved his best for last as a superb break of 70 put Doherty into the last four where he will face Pinches.

Following his victory, Doherty said: “I’m so relieved to be honest. Dechawat was playing really well and at 2-1 down it was looking a little bit dodgy but I’m delighted to come back and show a bit of character.”

The Tornado Weathers The Storm

An emotional Tony Drago reached the semi-finals of the Mr Vegas World Seniors Championship for a second consecutive year in dramatic fashion.

His meeting with Stuart Watson, who had beaten Tony Knowles in the previous round, saw the oldest and youngest competitors left standing in the competition go head to head and it was the Maltese cueist who made a dream start with a current tournament high break of 91 in the opener at an average of just 11 seconds per shot.

The next two frames were defined by crucial missed browns as both came down to the colours.

Watson looked set to level in the second, but a missed brown allowed Drago to force a respot and it was him who potted the black to double his advantage to 2-0. The roles were then reversed in the third, as Drago jawed a tricky brown to the middle pocket to allow Watson to clean up and keep his hopes alive.

It was a tight affair and the fourth frame also came down to the final colours.

The Englishman looked certain to be forcing a decider in the opening match of the evening session but he somehow missed a relatively simple black to the green pocket, leaving Drago the simplest of pots to wrap up the victory.

Drago was visibly emotional after the match and, with tears in his eyes, reflected: “It feels great but I am just a bit disappointed because I know I am playing well but all of a sudden you make a mistake and it’s game on.

“I’m one of those people – unfortunately, the performance means more to me than winning. I shouldn’t be going through the way I am playing, I should make it easier because it was all over the place – I was on top and then all of a sudden, if he didn’t miss that black, he probably would have won.”

Pinches Denies Wattana To Reach Last Four

Pinches battled through a late night contest against James Wattana to reach the semi-finals of the Mr Vegas World Seniors Championship.

Both players had chances to take the opener – Wattana opening with a 44 break before Pinches hit back with a 40 of his own, but it was the man from Norwich who eventually took it on the colours courtesy of an excellent long green.

The Englishman, who lost to Wattana in the 1988 World Amateur Championship final, doubled his lead with a break of 54 in the second frame but missed a pink off the spot in the next to allow the Thai cueiest to keep the match alive.

Ultimately, however, it was Pinches that was able to get over the line by the winning margin of 3-1 and he will now face 1997 World champion Doherty in the semi-finals.

Pinches said: “I think it was a decent performance. I missed a few balls, but not too many easy ones, but I just tried to make it difficult for James because I know he’s had a long trip from Thailand so if you can keep him off the table and not let him in the balls then that always helps and I think I did a fairly good job of that.”

Four nations will be represented in the semi-finals which take place on Saturday from 12pm and you can watch LIVE on Channel 5 in the UK.

Limited tickets remain available.