Francisco Bustamante Wins World Crown
Francisco Bustamante has finally put the demons from the past to rest and has won a world championship. He defeated Kuo Po-cheng of Taiwan today 13-7 at the World Pool Championships in Doha, Qatar to finally be known no longer as the finest player not to have won a World Title.
To truly appreciate the significance of this feat you must go back to 2002 when Bustmante also played in the finals of the WPC against Earl Strickland. The evening prior to the final match word came from Manila that Bustamante’s daughter had taken ill and died. Bustamante, crushed, was told that he need not play the final, that all would understand. He considered this, but his wife somehow reached him and convinced him that their child would have wanted him to continue the fight.
And he did. In one of the bravest moments that our game has ever witnessed Bustamante took the stage while the crowd around him wept. Word had spread through the morning and the sight of this man continuing the battle after the hand that fate had dealt him was simply stunning.
He lost to Strickland that day, but won the hearts of every pool fan in the world. And since that moment we have been waiting, with him, for this. Today he defeated Antonio Lining 11-5 to re-enter the Final Arena and then put away Kuo Po-cheng, the man who has been in the quarter, semi, or final match of a WPC more times than any other player without a win.
Antonio Lining and Johnny Archer share the third place honors.