Nick van den Berg European 9-Ball Champion

Nick Van Den Berg

Dutchman Nick Van Den Berg finally got his title he had been after: in Sankt Johann, Austria, the 27 year old "El Nino" outlasted a field of 123 players from 20 different countries to reach the final, where he faced young talent Ruslan Chinahov. In a nail-biting race to 9, alternate break, the 17-year old from Russia started out strong, showing no fear and took the lead 4-2.

It was the experience of Nick van den Berg however, that tied the match at 6-6, and later 8-8, where he got to break for the match and title. He kept his composure and thought about every shot, taking them one at a time.

When he sunk in the 9-ball, he let his emotions ride and jumped on the table to celebrate victory.

"I wasn't thinking about winning. I was just focusing on the shots, one by one. My sports psychologist tought me that, and that has helped my game a lot lately."
After a couple of silver medals, Nick van den Berg finally got the title he longed for.

"I lost in the quarter finals at straight pool and I was really disappointed and actually felt like leaving the tournament. I picked myself up, and started playing good pool, making almost no mistakes. Yeah, it feels great! Now I have a good chance to get invited for tournaments like the Mosconi Cup. But first I'm now off to Vegas to play the World Pool Masters and the Predator Cup. I hope I can keep my form and do well over there."

Results from the European Championships:
Men, 8-ball: Andreas Roschkowsky (Germany) beats Nikos Ekonomopoulos (Greece), 8-7
Men, 14.1 : Dimitri Jungo (Switzerland) beats Niels Feijen (Holland) 125-74
Men, 9-ball: Nick van den Berg (Holland) beats Ruslan Chinohov (Russia) 9-8

Women, 8-ball: Jasmin Ouschan (Austria) beats Janine Schwan (Germany) 6-4
Women, 14.1: Gerda Hofstatter (Austra) beats Jasmin Ouchan (Austria) 75-70
Women, 9-ball: Jasmin Ouschan (Austria) beats Veronika Hubrotav (CZE) 7-0

More information at