Appleton Wins Inaugural Dynamite Open

Darren Appleton
Darren Appleton visited Romania in early July to hold a training session with 20 Romanian players. Early in the training, impressed by the Romanian hospitality and player’s dedication, Darren proposed to organize a new tournament that bear his name – The Dynamite Open. This contest will be held every year in Brasov, Romania and will be organized by Darren Appleton in collaboration with Club Arta in Brasov. Next year the tournament should become an international one, and in a couple years hopefully one of the biggest Open tournaments in the European pool circuit.
The inaugural edition of the Dynamite Open was held Friday on July 4th 2014 at Club Arta, pool hall in Brasov, Romania. Because the contest was held on short notice, the event had a limited field of 32 players and a single elimination format. The participation of world champion Darren Appleton, was a big draw for players around the country to come to Brasov.
There were 4 seeded players in the field: Darren Appleton, Ciprian Gandac, Cristian Surdea and Babken Melkonian. All four of these players received byes into round 2.The game was 10 ball, alternate break, race to 6 until the quarter-final, race to 7 until the final, and the final a race to 9. Early matches were not easy for the favorites, surprisingly Babken lost his first game, and Darren Appleton struggled to win against Andrei Vulpe; a player from Brasov who was led Appleton 5-3 but missed the 9-ball at 5-5 to give the match to his opponent.  This close victory motivated Appleton, who went on to defeat Dan Moraru 7-3 in the quarter finals and Raul Maican 7-2 in the semi-finals.
The other finalist, Ciprian Gandac, had an easy 7-1 win in his semi-final match against Cristian Surdea 7-1. Cristian couldn’t find his game, and had problems getting used to the shimmed Dynamic III table.
The final match between Darren and Ciprian Gandac promised to be an exciting one with Darren relaxed and Ciprian very motivated to win. The spectators watched the confrontation with great interest and applauded every time the players made an exceptional shot. After a powerful start from the British player, the Romanian tied it up 3-3 before Appleton took control and won the match 9-3.
For the losers in the first 2 rounds, Appleton came up with the idea of organizing a secondary tournament with no entry fee. Appleton graciously donated 100 Euro to be awarded to the winner of this second event. The final of this event was won by Babken Melkonian against Andrei Vulpe.
At the end Darren said that he was happy to win, especially because this was the first edition of the ‘Dynamite Open”. After the final the players stayed in the venue to take pictures and sign autographs with the fans.
A video of the final match is available at