Django Bustamante wins first world pool championship after over 30 years of playing
Francisco "Django" Bustamante has finally captured his first world pool title in the World 9-Ball Championship on June 6 (Philippine time) at Doha, Qatar, reports GMANews.tv.
Unbeaten in all eight matches, the Tarlac native defeated former champion Kuo Po Cheng of Chinese Taipei in the finals. He took home the $36,000 prize and even beat the pool champ he had always played second fiddle to, Efren "Bata" Reyes, in terms of cash prizes this year, according to GMANews.tv.
The 46-year-old Bustamante, who has been playing pool since he was 10 years old, told Philstar.com in Filipino, "By finally winning the world 9-ball, which is every pool player’s dream, I can now say that I am a complete billiards player."
Billiards godfather and Bustamante’s chief benefactor, Aristeo "Putch" Puyat, told Inquirer.net, "He deserves this... I’m really happy for him. This is the only title missing in his collection."
It is Bustamante’s first world title but he had "won the hearts of every pool fan in the world," as Philstar.com puts it, when he continued playing in the 2002 World 9-Ball Championship despite the sudden death of his seven-month-old daughter. He finished as a runner-up to Earl "The Pearl" Strickland.