Ralf Souquet is the Player of the Year!

Ralf's win at the Damas World 8-Ball Championship was one of many 2008 titles.

Ralf Souquet has been chosen the AZBilliards male Player of the Year for 2008 and he completed quite a turnaround from 2007 in order to earn the honor. In 2007 he had only one win (the Mosconi Cup) during the entire calendar period and pocketed only $43,000. But in 2008 he won ten titles and cashed checks totaling more than $170,000 to literally walk away from the rest of the field on the money list and with nearly double the victories of our second-place choice, Mika Immonen.  

Souquet began his year with a win in the tough 9-Ball division of the Derby City Classic. When we interviewed Ralf after that win he said he was looking forward to a great year. His personal life had been fulfilled with his marriage to Illy and he said he just felt very good about the way his year was shaping up. He was quite correct in his assessment.

Within 90 days of that interview Souquet had won three more events and a World Championship. He won the Weert Open 10-Ball, then the Paris Open and the Gema Open and followed these with his Damas World 8-Ball World Championship title that he took down in Fujairah, UAE.  

Souquet also took the top slot at both the Interpool 9-Ball and 10-Ball events, the Eurotour Swiss Open, the Eurotour Netherlands Open and finished the year with an overwhelming 12-6 victory in the Mosconi Cup. Here he capped a fantastic year the same way that he began it, with a tribute to his wife. When the players gathered for an after-victory celebration they all spoke of their inspiration and motives for winning. Souquet gave a tearful soliloquy to Illy in which he said that it was her support that always lifted him to the top.  

Consistency was the keyword for Souquet in 2008. Out of 27 events that he played in he had 24 top-ten finishes, a simply stunning 90% of all the events in which he held a cue. But there is more to Ralf than his wizardry with a pool cue. Ralf Souquet is a champion in every sense of the word. He is outwardly serene even when the rolls do not go his way. He is always the gentleman and sportsman. He trains for his sport both physically and mentally and he does not leave success to chance. In short, Souquet earns his way on this pool world and does not wait for anything to come his way. He creates his own opportunities and pursues the podium finish with every move that he makes. Souquet is a thinking man's player.

Possibly one of the most impressive things about Ralf Souquet is that he was not a natural-baron talent. He had to work hard to attain and hone his skills. He was not a child prodigy who claimed World Championship as a lad. He has had years where the winner's circle eluded his efforts. But his tenacity, his absolute refusal to ever give up, has always pulled him through. Ralf Souquet learned and earned his skills.  He is proof positive that a firm work ethic can overcome all obstacles and, with Illy, a pleasant reminder that love can lead the heart and soul to new heights. No matter how much Ralf Souquet is to be admired as a player he is equally to be admired as a man. Souquet brings the total package to the table, no matter where in the world that table sits.