FRANCISCO "Django" Bustamante finally ended years of frustration and put a painful memory to rest when he dismantled Kuo Po Cheng of Chinese-Taipei, 13-7, to rule the 2010 World Pool Championship Monday night (Tuesday morning in Manila) at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation Hall in Doha, Qatar.
The 46-year-old Bustamante, a power-breaking Filipino pool master with a gunslinger's name, had numerous international crowns in his career but has yet to win a major crown like the WPC event.
He finally was able to slay the ghost of his past nightmares and, in the process, erased the stigma of his painful defeat to Earl Strickland of the United States back in 2002 with a stunning display of shotmaking in Doha.
Eight years ago, Bustamante also reached the finals of the WPC in Cardiff, Wales, but even before he could play Strickland in the finals he learned that his daughter had taken ill and died in Manila.
Bustamante initially considered abandoning the match and head back home, but he was convinced to continue and play the championship match.
So, Bustamante, playing in pain, engaged Strickland in the battle for the crown but lost to the American by the score of 17-15.
This time, Bustamante was not to be denied and simply took away his rival from Chinese Taipei with ease to romp away with $36,000, or roughly estimated to P1.6 million for his feat. Kuo settled for $18,000.
The newly-crowned champion turned back compatriot Antonio "Nickoy" Lining, 11-5, while Kuo nipped Johnny Archer of the United States, 11-10, in the semifinals.
Lining and Archer each got $10,000 for entering the Final Four.
Bustamante was ecstatic with his latest conquest, and pool officials back in Manila immediately hailed the Filipino player.
"This is the only thing that's been missing in Django's career. Thank God he won it this time," said Aristeo "Putch" Puyat, his long-time benefactor.
Puyat also manages former World 8-ball and 9-ball titlist Efren "Bata" Reyes and 2009 World 10-ball women's champion Rubilen "Bingkay" Amit.