Choi Seong-won (46, Huons), who wrote the history of the first Korean billiard 3-cushion game several times. The first Korean player to win both the World Championship and the World Team Championship, he begins his second life in billiards. On the professional billiards (PBA) stage, I am trying to rekindle the flame.
Choi Seong-won was nominated by Huons as the first pick in the first round of the 2023 PBA Team League Draft held at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 23rd. Huons nominated Choi Seong-won and Jeon Ae-rin in the 3rd round, along with Choi Seong-won, ‘Art District Master’ Semi Seiginer (Turkiye) in the 1st place.
Huons, who finished at the bottom of the team league last season, is aiming to rise to the top in the new season with the addition of Choi Seong-won and Seiginer. Huons completed the composition of the existing team including Javier Palazon (Spain) Kim Bong-cheol and Kim Se-yeon.
Choi Seong-won is the eldest brother who led the renaissance of Korea’s 3-cushion cushion along with the late Kim Gyeong-ryul, Jo Jae-ho (NH Nonghyup Card), and Gang Dong-gung (SK Rent-a-Car). In particular, he became the first Korean player to win the 2014 World Carom Federation (UMB) World Championship. In the final, Choi Seong-won defeated ‘Emperor’ Tobjorn Bromdal (Sweden), who was considered the world’s strongest at the time. It was a feat that even the late Korean billiards legend Lee Sang-cheon, former president of the Korea Billiards Association, could not achieve.
Following this, Choi Seong-won reached the top of the World Team Championships with Kim Jae-geun (Crown Haetae) in 2017 and Kang Dong-gung the following year. The opponent in the 2017 finals was the Belgian team that Kudron held out. Choi Seong-won wrote the first history of Korean billiards, winning the world championships and world team championships, ranking first in the UMB world rankings, and winning the Player of the Year award.
However, it is true that Seong-Won Choi has not had good news in recent international competitions. The world ranking has also dropped to 20th. In the midst of this, Choi Seong-won took on a new challenge in his billiard life by declaring that he would go to PBA.
At the press conference after the event, Choi Seong-won showed strong confidence, saying, “I came to the PBA to burn the last flame,” and “Of course, winning is the goal, and I want to show that I am still alive in every game.” “I was interested enough to watch all the PBA games,” he said. He also stressed the fact that Huons finished last season, saying, “There will be no problems this year and you don’t have to worry.”
Regarding the recent sluggish situation, Choi Seong-won said, “I tried to maintain the top rank and didn’t fall too low, but the fans’ expectations were high, so I think I slowed down.” I don’t think I was complacent mentally or mentally,” he pointed out. He then looked back, saying, “Apart from grades, when I was in the federation, I was often in foreign countries and my body was very tired.”
Entering the PBA can be a stimulus in that respect. Choi Seong-won said, “One of the reasons I came to PBA was to develop a new interest in billiards and wanted to try it.” “I came with a goal now, and I have clear motivation,” he said. “I think it will be completely different once I come to the PBA.”
However, the PBA environment is quite different from UMB, and it is not easy to adapt. The “strongest” Frederic Kudron (Belgian Welcome Savings Bank) also suffered quite a bit in the early days of the PBA. Unlike UMB, which is a point system, PBA has a set system with a two-point bank shot system, so there are many variables. The official ball is also subtle, but there is a difference, but the degree to which players actually feel it is large. Jo Jae-ho also confessed that after entering the PBA, “I had a hard time adapting to the ball because the official pitch was different.”
Regarding this, Choi Seong-won said, “PBA has a two-point system, so there are many variables, and it is difficult to determine the type of pitch or who will win, and comebacks often come out.” presupposed. “I can’t tell you for sure, but if you try it, you will get a feeling,” he said.
In the PBA, there are many players who competed with Choi Seong-won in domestic and international competitions, such as Kudron, the best players last season, Jo Jae-ho, Kang Dong-gung, and Kim Jae-geun. In addition, Daniel Sanchez (Spain, SY), who has reigned as the 4th king along with Kudron, also joined the PBA ahead of the new season with Choi Seong-won.
Regarding this, Choi Seong-won showed a humble attitude, saying, “I don’t think there are any rivals,” and “I’m a student who just entered (PBA) and everyone is seniors.” At the same time, he revealed the spirit of a freshman (?), saying, “I will work hard enough to make you think of me as a rival.” It remains to be seen whether Choi Seong-won, who has written a lot of history in Korean billiards, will be able to write history in the PBA as well.
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