Congratulations to Daryl Peach, the 2007 World Pool Champion. He beat Roberto Gomez 17-15 in an amazing final. I know I posted in general about the World Pool Championships earlier, but today I just want to discuss the final.

I’ll start with Gomez, the losing finalist. He had played brilliantly throughout the tournament, but just seemed to choke in the end. He was playing much more conservatively than normal. It just wasn’t his own game. If you ask me, that’s one of the main reasons he lost. He didn’t stick to what he was good at. Ultimately, he just wasn’t himself. And he payed the price for that.

Peach, on the other hand, more or less stuck to his game. He didn’t really try anything too fancy. He just stuck to his calm, calculated game. And it paid off. That’s what his game has been all about throughout the week. It wasn’t about making the great, unbelievable, highlight-reel shots. It was just about making the best decisions consistently, doing the simple things well. That’s what got him to the final. Yes, he can do the highlight-reel shots (like the bank in the final rack), but his main game was always about percentages and decisions.

Above all, though, it was the mental strength that won the championship for him. I think the perfect example was the second last rack, with Peach leading 16-15. Gomez came to the table on the 9, and missed what would normally have been a simple shot. Daryl Peach came back and potted it, and went on to win the championship. That summed up the difference in composure and mental strength perfectly. Both players had their ups and downs over the matches, but Daryl Peach managed to maintain focus more than his opponent, and didn’t let it get to him. And that’s why he won.

There’s so much all of us can learn from that. You’ll have a higher chance of success if you stick to your game, and just be yourself, as Gomez’s loss shows us. And Peach showed us the value of good decision making, focusing on what we have and the power of mental strength.

Daryl himself summed it up perfectly after the game, “I haven’t got the most ability and there are lots of players with more talent than me but I just used my head and tried to focus on what I’ve got.”

How do you maintain your focus on your ability, and not get thrown off by circumstance?