Stolka and Rademakers Rule the 10-Ball

Harald Stolka and Tamara Rademakers

Harald Stolka’s marvellous week continued in winning style as the 47-year-old German took 10-ball gold at the 2022 Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships Seniors to add to the straight pool title he claimed on Sunday. This time he defeated Jorge Tinoco (Portugal) by 7-4 to give him a 100% record at the annual gathering of Europe’s over-45 players.

Stolka travelled to Slovenia on his first ever visit to the European Seniors and it was likely beyond his widest dreams that he would win the opening two events. Today he was up against a player who collected two golds himself at this same event last year but the German’s determination and all-round play saw him through.

“I’m pretty happy today because this is my 20th match right now and I felt the pressure today. I didn’t play real free earlier but played good enough to give my opponents a strong fight and when I came to the semis I started to play well so that was great and thank you very much, billiard god!

Stolka won the lag to get the final underway but could not drop a ball off the break. Tinoco missed a difficult long 2-ball, leaving it on for Stolka, The German ran out of position going from 4 to 5 and missed the cut into the centre pocket. Tinoco stepped up to steal the rack for 1.0. Tinoco delivered another dry break and Stolka looked set for the run out but again missed a cut on the 8 ball into the centre pocket to gift the rack to Tinoco.

A superb snooker from Stolka saw a great escape attempt from Tinoco miss the 1 ball by a hair’s breadth to give ball-in-hand, from where Stolka made no mistakes to get onto the scoreboard. A missed 1 ball from Tinoco allowed his opponent to level things up at 2-2 and then Stolka ran out from the break to take the lead for the first time at 3-2.

A good safety in the next allowed Stolka to increase his lead to two-racks and the seventh game was the longest of the match as both players went back-and-forth on the 2-ball before Tinoco nailed it but with a 7/9 cluster down-table it was no formality. However, some excellent positional play enabled the Portuguese to run out for 4-3.

A failed kick on the 1-ball from Tinoco in the next gave ball-in-hand to Stolka but he missed a tough 2-ball. It was Tinoco’s turn to miss next, this time on the 4-ball and Stolka took his chances to restore his two-rack lead. Stolka came with some championship winning form in the next as he ran out from the break to put himself on the hill as he moved the score to 6-3.

Tinoco won the next as Stolka missed the 4-ball, trying to squeeze it past the 9. It was a lifeline for Tinoco who dished up to reduce the deficit. In what would be the final rack of the match, a safety from Stolka left the 1-ball on for Tinoco. With no room for error, Tinoco played safe on the 5-ball and it was a good effort. There were multiple visits and safeties but the Portuguese always had the advantage until a loose one allowed Stolka a good look at the 5. He made it and gained position on the 6-ball and from there, he ran out for the gold medal.

Stolka added, “I’m staying here for two more disciplines but I won’t feel the pressure as every discipline is a new tournament and there are so many strong players. I can’t believe that I’ve won twice right now but I won’t be giving up for the next ones.”

Bronze medals went to Markus Kamuf of Germany and Norway’s Jorgen Nilsen.

In the ladies’ 10-ball it was the Netherlands’ Melissa Rademakers who claimed her first ever European Championship gold medal as she defeated Tuuliina Paluna (Finland) by 5-2. It was a welcome change of fortunes for the Dutch girl as she had earlier been beaten by the same opponent in the Winners’ Qualification stage.

Rademakers had the ideal match, racing out of the traps for a 4-0 lead in the race-to-five final. Paluna pulled two back but a missed 10-ball from the Finn gave her opponent a long look at the championship ball and she firmly planted it in the corner pocket for the gold.

Commented Rademakers, “She came back at me but I didn’t do anything wrong at that point and I knew I was waiting for a chance and I got it! 8- ball is my game but it’s hard to say how that will go but 10-ball was not a priority but 8-ball, I love to play so I hope I can go far in that one.”

Rademakers also looked shaky in her semi-final match, trailing 3-0 to Karin Michl (Germany) but managed to turn it around.

“It was tough but I was playing well and trusted in that. The 3-0 was probably not the way the match went but I felt good and that I could come back at any time. It’s only a race to five and anything could happen. “

Bronze medals went to Alexandra Cunha (Great Britain) and Birgit Heidorn of Germany.

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship Seniors and Ladies comprises nine separate events across four disciplines – 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool for men and teams.

Play continues later today with action in both the mens’ and ladies’ 8-ball divisions.

All matches can be viewed live at as well as selected matches on the EPBF’s Facebook page.

Results, live scoring and draws are available at

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