One-man army defeats England

Nick Van Den Berg

The English dominance at the Eurotour tournaments was again visible during the Eurotour stop in Finland (25 - 28 August). Three English players in the quarter finals, 2 in the semis and one in the final.

It was, however, Dutch Nick Van Den Berg who defeated Tony Drago, Daryl Peach, Mark Gray and Karl Boyes, to clinch the title.

Van den Berg is re-educating himself as an IT-technician in "the civil world", after evaluating the future of pool, almost a year ago. "The fields are too big, the prize money is too little and dozens of players can win tournaments in the format that is played today, with tapped racks and alternating breaks.". I have a wonderful wife and child to take care of, and it's getting tougher and tougher as a pool player to make a decent living."

He mainly plays the Eurotour events and the occasional World Championships, as a member of the Dutch top squad (which also includes Niels Feijen and Huidji See).

He trains very little, but that hardly reflects in his results. Just last month he reached the final of the Eurotour in Austria, hadn't touched a cue since then, and now he takes home the title in Finland. A typical Eurotour event has about 200 players, with a $175 entry fee and a $50,000.00 guaranteed prize-fund.

The almost-30-year-old van den Berg is now ranked number three in the Eurotour ranking, with possibilities to finish even higher, before the European Mosconi Team will be picked. Eight years after "El Nino" Nick van den Berg made his unforgettable debut at York Hall, where Europe took the title after so many years of losses, the Mosconi Cup returns to London, at a renovated York Hall venue.

"It would be great to get invited," says the Dutchman. "I'll never forget the great atmosphere, the crowds, the team, and my own matches at York Hall. It's not in my hands, I can only hope my current form will impress Matchroom. Wouldn't it be great to return to where it all began for me?"