Hohmann Wins Yate Open

Thorsten Hohmann

Manchester 10am 30th March 2004 - First prize of £1000 at the BPPPA Yate Open was won on 27th March by World 9 Ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann, who beat Wayne Lloyd 9-4 in the final. Thorsten - fresh from adding the European 8 Ball Championship to his list of titles a week earlier in Prague - had flown from his home in Fulda, Germany to compete. He entertained everyone with a superb display of pool, cruising through the double elimination stage undefeated into the final 32 knockout stage.

From there it wasn't so easy and at the last 32 stage Thorsten came up against Steve Higton. Higton recently represented Great Britain and the BPPPA at the European Championships in Prague where Thorsten picked up the 8 ball title, and it was his second attempt at the world champion after going down 7-3 earlier in the day. Higton was level or leading for much of the way, but when he rattled an easy 8 ball at 8-7 down the cool-headed German finished the game off to win 9-7. Then he knocked out Jason Lawrence, Mark Stephenson and David Walsh before meeting Wayne Lloyd, the Manchester Open runner-up, in the final.

"I'm pleased to have won, though I had some close matches and I wasn't playing my best, I have enjoyed the tournament and hope to play in it again in the future" said Hohmann after the game.

Stewart Colcough and David Walsh played a play-off match to decide 3rd and 4th place. Wayne Lloyd had sent Colclough into the play-off with a tremendous comeback from 7-4 down to win 9-7, while Walsh - one of the greatest young talents in the game, having recently turned 18 - had fought hard but went out 9-7 to Hohmann in the other semi-final. Stewart Colcough walked away with the trophy for third and David took fourth place.

Finishing 5th - 8th were newcomer Hashim Alaraji, a snooker player from Manchester, Daryl Peach - the Blackpool pool legend - and fellow tour regulars Paul Kellett - another of the BPPPA's representatives in Prague - and Mark Stephenson from Dudley who went out 9-6 to Hohmann. Also in the money were Raj Sagoo, who retains his number one spot in the rankings, James Popplewell, Curtis Lambert, Gary Stewart, Mosconi Cup veteran Lee Tucker, Chris Wright, Paul Medati and Jason Lawrence.

All in all, the fifth event of the BPPPA ranking season was a great success, and it comes a week after the BPPPA were granted membership of the EPBF (European Pocket Billiard Federation). Membership of the EPBF brings official recognition on the world stage that the BPPPA is the governing body for the American cue sports in the member state of Great Britain.