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Snooker: Joke's on Poomjaeng as Thai star bows out

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Thailand's Dechawat Poomjaeng saw his crowd-pleasing run at the World Championships brought to an abrupt end on Friday with 13-3 second round defeat against Welsh qualifier Michael White.

Poomjaeng had captivated fans at the Sheffield's Crucible Theatre with his entertaining antics during a shock first round win over world number five Stephen Maguire.

The 34-year-old ignored snooker's usually hushed and reverential atmosphere during his 10-9 win against Maguire as he played the clown on his debut at the sport's most hallowed venue.

After twice going to the wrong seat in the arena before the match, he waved his arms frantically in a bid to coax the ball into the pocket after several shots, on one occasion knocking over a bottle of water in the process.

The world number 70 was at it again against White, entering the arena with both arms raised in triumph, jumped from the second step on to the stage floor and punched the air as though he had won the world title.

Spotting Thailand's national flag in the second row, he also held out his arms in adoration and hugged MC Rob Walker.

But whereas Maguire seemed distracted by Poomjaeng's bizarre behaviour, White was able to block out the fuss as the 21-year-old became the first player to secure a quarter-final berth in this year's tournament.

Poomjaeng was totally outclassed and fell 7-1 behind after the first session on Thursday.

When play resumed on Friday, White refused to give him a chance to get back into the match as breaks of 71, 83, 73 and a closing 102 set up a last-eight clash with Ricky Walden or Robert Milkins.

But Poomjaeng was not scarred by his defeat, saying: I'm okay because it's the first time for me at the Crucible.

"Michael White played well and I started badly. That's why I lost too easily.

"I loved the crowd's reaction to me. I'm so proud that everyone likes me."

White, bidding to become the first debutant in the semi-finals since Andy Hicks in 1995, was delighted with the way he kept his cool while Poomjaeng was going through his madcap routine.

"I'm thrilled. The way I've played in both my matches has been pleasing for me," he said.

"I had to keep in the zone and keep concentration and I felt I did that well all the way through.

"Last night he was joking around a lot but I held it together pretty well."

smg/ps

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/snooker-jokes-poomjaeng-thai-star-bows-out