Pankaj Advani won the G. Raman Nair annual billiards tournament in glorious fashion here on Sunday, producing a remarkable break of 507 on his way to vanquishing B. Bhaskar in the final.
In the process, the 25-year-old also erased the tournament record of 494, set, incidentally, only a day earlier by Bhaskar, eventually sailing home 1001-443.
“Any victory is great but I'm very happy with the style in which I managed it today,” Advani said afterwards, as an enraptured crowd at the ECA billiards hall lined up to congratulate him.
“I couldn't have asked for a better win. To achieve the 500 break was just the icing on the cake.”
Advani admitted there were jitters as he closed in on the mark. “Of course there was pressure. I had the 494 in mind, and once I crossed that there was this. 500 is a magical figure and not many players in the world have done it; it's a huge achievement.”
Bhaskar produced the first century-break of the contest, turning in a 143 while his opponent remained with 3 against his name after the opening turn.
Advani, though, eased himself into the game as it wore on. He responded with a break of 110 immediately, following it up with a 259. Bhaskar's 88 in between left the pair engrossingly close at 438-409.
Although Advani appeared to have ceded advantage subsequently, stumbling to breaks of 8 and 38, his adversary did not capitalize entirely.
He notched up 31 and 99, agonisingly fluffing a straightforward cannon on the latter occasion. In the event, that was as close as Bhaskar got to the title as an unforgiving Advani came up with his colossal break, leaving any hopes of a comeback looking ridiculous.
The results (1000 up): Final: Pankaj Advani bt B. Bhaskar 1001-443. Semifinals: Pankaj Advani bt Devendra Joshi 1000-683; B. Bhaskar bt Dhruv Sitwala 1000-615.