“Kudron-Jo Jae-ho? I’m not dead yet!” The Beginnings of a Korean Billiards Legend

Choi Sung-won (46-huons) has made Korean billiards 3-cushion history many times over. The first Korean player to win both the World Championship and the World Team Championship, he is now embarking on a second career in billiards. He is looking to rekindle his flame in the professional billiards arena (PBA).

Choi was selected by the Hawks with the first pick in the first round of the 2023 PBA Team League Draft, held at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on March 23. Along with Choi, the Hawks selected “Art District Master” Semi Seiginer (Turkiye) with the first pick of the second round and Jeon Ae-lin in the third round.

After finishing last in the team’s league last season, the Huons are looking to make a leap to the top of the standings with the addition of Choi and Seiginer. The Huonz completed the roster with Javier Palazon (Spain), Kim Bong-cheol, and Kim Se-yeon.

Choi Sung-won is the eldest brother of the late Kim Kyung-ryul, Cho Jae-ho (NHL Card) and Kang Dong-gung (SK Rent-a-Car), who led the Korean three-cushion renaissance. Most notably, he became the first Korean to win the UMB World Championships in 2014. In the final, Choi defeated “Emperor” Tobjorn Bromdahl (Sweden), who was considered the strongest player in the world at the time. It was a feat that even the late Korean billiards legend Lee Sang-chun, former president of the Korean Billiards Association, could not accomplish.

Choi Sung-won went on to reach the top of the World Team Championships with Kim Jae-geun (Crown Hae-tae) in 2017 and Kang Dong-gung the following year. Their final opponent in 2017 was the Belgian team led by Kudrong. Thus, Choi Sung-won made history by winning the World Championship, the World Team Championship, the UMB World No. 1 ranking, and the Player of the Year award.

However, Choi hasn’t had much success in international competition lately. His world ranking has dropped to 20th. In the midst of all this, Choi announced that he would be taking on a new challenge in his billiards career by switching to the PBA.

“I came to the PBA to burn the last flame,” Choi said at the press conference after the event, adding, “Of course, my goal is to win the championship, and I want to show that I’m still strong in every game.” “I was interested enough to watch all the PBA games,” he said, emphasizing that “since I came to the PBA, I will play in a really cool way and do well.” He also said that the Hawks finished last last season, but that “there will be no problem this year, and I don’t have to worry about it”.

Regarding the recent slump, Choi Sung-won said, “We tried to stay on top and didn’t fall too far, but I think we may have slipped because the fans’ expectations were high.” “The biggest reason was that I wasn’t motivated, and there was no other problem, but I think I became complacent in my mind or spirit,” he said. “Regardless of my performance, I was traveling abroad a lot when I was in the league, and I was physically exhausted,” he said, “I called it motivation, but my interest in billiards had decreased.”

Entering the PBA can be stimulating in that regard. “One of the reasons I came to the PBA was to renew my interest in billiards, and I wanted to challenge myself,” Choi said. “I was mentally and physically exhausted, so I wanted to see how I could adapt to the new rules and environment and experience it.” “Now I have a goal, I’m definitely motivated,” he said, “and I think it’s going to be completely different now that I’m in the PBA.”

However, the PBA environment is quite different from UMB, and it’s not easy to adjust. Even the reigning champion, Frederik Koudron (Belgium-Wellcome Savings Bank), struggled in the early days of the PBA. Unlike the UMB, which is a point system, the PBA is a two-point system with bank shots in sets, so there are a lot of variables. The ball is also slightly different, but the difference is felt by the players. Cho Jae-ho also admitted that he had a hard time adjusting to the PBA because the balls were different.

In response, Choi Sung-won said, “The PBA has a two-point system, so there are many variables, and it is difficult to choose the ball type and who will win, and there are many reversals.” “It may be fun for the viewer, but the player will be bleeding,” he premised. “I can’t say for sure, but I think I’ll get a feel for it when I try it,” he said. “I’ve won the UMB World Cup when it was a set format, so I think I’ll be able to adapt as quickly as possible and perform as well as I can because I personally like it.”토토사이트

The PBA has a number of players who have competed with Choi at home and abroad, including last season’s Most Valuable Player Cho Jae-ho, Kang Dong-gung, and Kim Jae-geun. In addition, Daniel Sanchez (Spain-Eswai), who reigned as the Fourth Heavenly King alongside Kudrong, joined the PBA ahead of the new season alongside Choi Sung-won.

“I don’t think I have any rivals,” said Choi Sung-won, humbly, “I’m just a student (in the PBA) and they’re all seniors,” but he also showed a freshman’s (?) ambition, saying, “I’ll try hard enough to make them think of me as a rival.” It remains to be seen if Choi Sung-won, who has made a lot of history in Korean billiards, will be able to make history in the PBA as well.

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