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Jaspers Dazzles on his Way to World Games Gold

Dick Jaspers

Dick Jaspers of the Netherlands has had a long and storied career in the billiards disciple of carom three-cushion, having won the World and European Three-cushion Championships as well as the Three-Cushion World Cup five times.

The only event where the 56-year-old had not secured as much hardware was at the World Games, having earned two silvers and a gold in six attempts but having not earned anything since the 2009 games in Taiwan.

The Dutchman ended his drought in spectacular fashion Sunday morning at this year’s iteration of the World Games in Birmingham, overcoming an early deficit against Colombia’s Jose Juan Garcia with multiple long scoring breaks and putting away his opponent, 40-19 in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

“This is maybe the highest medal you can win because these are the Olympics for us,” said Jaspers after the match. “So, I think it makes my career perfect. I had won a lot in my life and this makes it really extra special.”

Jasper faced an opponent in Garcia who was playing with nothing to lose, having already guaranteed that Colombia – a country more known for its coffee than its carom – would be taking home a medal by reaching the championship. Garcia was one of two Colombian players who exhibited inspiring play throughout the week, with fellow countryman Pedro Gonzalez also reaching the semifinals and losing to Garcia yesterday.

The Colombian came out firing to open the match, connecting on seven straight points to build an early lead.

“I’m facing the number one in the world,” said Garcia. “I know he’s a the best so before my match, I knew I had to try my best.”

“He’s a rising star and he started well with seven so he was immediately he was in the game,” said Jaspers “So, I have to play my own style, my own game, and I think my concentration is also strong side of me. Maybe it could help.”

Jaspers picked away at the deficit early, using a three and two-point break to narrow the lead to 7-6, then overtook his opponent with a five-point break to build a 12-7 advantage. After Garcia put up a four-pointer of his own to draw within 12-11, the Dutchman closed out the first half of play with a nine-point break to increase his lead to 21-11. After Garcia opened the second half with a point to cut the lead to nine, Jaspers went on an eight-point break then tacked on three more points in the next inning to push his lead to 32-13. He all-but clinched the match in the ninth inning when he tacked on a six-point break to push the lead to a nearly insurmountable 39-14.

Meanwhile, Garcia struggled to put up points after his opening inning barrage, accumulating just three in the four three innings after the intermission compared to Jasper’s 18.

“I tried my best in the middle and the end of the match but the ball didn’t hold me for the second or third points,” said Garcia. “He was too good to do something against.”

When Jaspers struck his final three-rail shot and saw that the cue ball was about to connect for the game-winner, he raised his hands in triumph before the balls even touched each other. The celebration was in relief as well as celebration.

“I’m also happy it’s over,” he said tongue-in-cheek. “I need a break. I need a holiday now because we play so many events. But it’s fantastic to go back to my country with a gold medal and it’s my second medal.”

The Dutchman was stellar all week, opening competition Tuesday morning with a high break of 16 as he defeated Pedro Piedrabuena of the United States 40-11 in the opening round-of-16, then eliminating Sweden’s Torbjorn Blomdahl 40-20 to advance to the semifinals. Jaspers then used an 11-point break to take a commanding leading against Belgium’s Eddy Merckx to advance to the finals.

The match schedule and results are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Merckx Is Carom Bronze Medal Winner

Eddy Merckx

Five-time Three-Cushion World Cup champion Dick Jaspers of the Netherlands used a nine-point break in the first half of his semifinal match against Eddy Merckx of Belgium to jump out to a 23-8 advantage at the break and sail to a 40-13 victory Saturday morning.

Jaspers opened play with an 11-point break, then added breaks of five and six points to build a 23-8 advantage at the intermission.

“It was indeed a good start,” said Jaspers. “Normally, my start is not that good. My finish is normally better than my start. That was for me a happy thing.”

Merckx opened the second half with a five-point break of his own to cut the deficit to 25-13 but could not get closer, as Jaspers executed a seven-point break to push his lead to a commanding 36-13.

The victory guaranteed Jaspers first medal at the World Games since 2009, having competed in the previous three versions of the games and failing to finish in the tip three.

Jaspers will meet Jose Juan Garcia, who used a long break to establish a big lead on opponent and fellow countryman Pedro Gonzalez then held off a potential comeback with another extended break to close out the match, 40-23.

Garcia jumped out to an early 16-1 advantage then used a nine-point break take a 25-1 lead into the intermission. From there, however, the Colombian struggled to put together any momentum, as Gonzalez chipped away at the lead, using a five-point run to cut the lead to 33-16, then tacking on a couple more to trim the deficit to 33-19. Garcia would ultimately find his gear, scoring six straight to push his advantage back to 39-19 and closing out the match.

“I accumulated a lot of points in the first half and it was a lot of defensive shots in the second half,” said Garcia.

In the bronze medal match later in the day, Merckx jumped out to a 21-12 advantage at the break and then used a couple of late breaks to coast to a 40-24 victory.

With the win, Merckx earns his first World Games medal since a silver medal in 2013.

“It’s very nice, of course, to earn a medal for that,” said Merckx. “That’s why we come here and that’s why we make the trip.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at The match schedule, results, and live scores are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Merckx Eliminates Sanchez at The World Games

Eddy Merckx

Dick Jaspers 40, Torbjorn Blomdahl 20

Five-time Three-Cushion World Cup champion and three-time World Game medalist Dick Jaspers used a series of short breaks early followed by a couple of bigger ones later to put away longtime rival Torbjorn Blomdahl of Sweden, 40-20, to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.

“I played good defense in this match but Torbjorn didn’t play his best,” he said.

Jaspers took a 20-11 lead into the halftime intermission, then used a break of four points and nine points to take a commanding 36-16 advantage. Blomdahl was able to tack on a couple of points down the stretch but was unable to do much more. He also struggled to gain any kind of momentum throughout the match, scoring the occasional point then barely missing on the next one. He only ran more than two balls twice during the match.

“I tried to play really good positional shots and, every time, I missed by a millimeter,” said Blomdahl. “Everything was stopped then and he just ran away. And in the end, he defended well and I didn’t get many good chances.”

Eddy Merckx 40, Daniel Sanchez 38

Belgium’s Eddy Merckx and Spain’s Daniel Sanchez staged a back-and-forth match in the quarterfinals of the carom three-cushion competition Friday afternoon, with Merckx using two breaks of 10 points each to hold off the charging Spaniard 40-38.

Merckx first run came in the first half of the match, using a 10-point break to wipe away to erase an early deficit and take a 24-15 lead into the intermission. After tacking another point on after the break, Sanchez went on a run of his own, scoring 11 consecutive points to turn a 25-17 deficit into a 28-25 lead. With Sanchez clinging to a 33-30 advantage, Merckx went on to score eight of the next 13 points to tie the match at 38 each, then ticked off back-to-back points to seal the victory.

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at The match schedule, results, and live scores are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Dick Jaspers Victorious in Las Vegas World Cup

Final awards ceremony

Dick Jaspers continued his march of devastation through the three-cushion world by securing a 50 to 43 victory over Sameh Sidhom of Egypt in the finals of the 2022 Las Vegas World Cup. With the win, the Dutch master notched his third consecutive victory on the world stage. Having won the World Championship in December 2021 in Egypt and the Ankara World Cup in January 2022, Jaspers secured his position as the number one ranked player in the world. Jaspers, a few months shy of his 57th birthday, also exorcized a demon of his past. In 2003, the last time the World Cup was held in the United States, also in Las Vegas, Jaspers lost in the final to Samih Sayginer of Turkey. This time, he would not be denied the trophy.

Sponsored by Predator, the Las Vegas World Cup was held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Resort from March 27 to April 2. It is one of 6 World Cup tournaments to be played in 2022 under the auspices of the Union Mondiale de Billard (UMB), the world governing body for carom billiards. The first World Cup was held in Ankara, Turkey in January, and the next one will be held in Vietnam in May, followed by tournaments in Korea, the Netherlands, and Egypt. Each World Cup has 149 players. Seventeen players are seeded in the final 32 players: the 14-highest ranked players, 2 wild cards from the organizer, and 1 wild card from the UMB. The other 15 players qualify through a series of four qualifying rounds: PPPQ, PPQ, PQ and Q. The final 32 players are placed into 8 groups of 4 (A to H). After a round robin play, the top 2 in each group advance to a knockout (single elimination) bracket of 16 players. The winner in each world cup receives 16000€ and 80 ranking points. Second place takes home 10000€ and earns 54 ranking points. A total of 106,500€ is awarded in prize money.

Jaspers reached the finals without a blemish on his record, winning three games in Group A. In the first round of the knockout phase, Jaspers squeaked out a win over Murat Coklu of Turkey, 50 to 48. The game was mere prelude. Having found his stroke, the Dutch wizard dispatched Marco Zanetti of Italy 50 to 17 in 17 innings for a 2.941 average, the best game in the main draw. In the semi-finals, Jaspers scored 38 billiards in 10 middle innings and topped Haeng Jik Kim of Korea 50 to 31 in 26 (1.923). 

Sidhom’s run to the finals was equally impressive. He emerged from Group F with victories over Belgians Eddy Merckx and Roland Forthomme, and a tie with Huberney Catano of Colombia. In his game against Merckx, Sidhom made 40 in 18 innings for a 2.222 average. He made 40 in 20 innings for a 2.000 average in a victory over the other Belgian, and defeated Quyet Chien Tran of Vietnam 50 to 38 in 34 innings. In the quarter finals, Sidhom battled with Pedro Piedrabuena of the United States, securing a 50 to 43 victory in a strategic game. In the semi-finals, Sidhom, with a high runoff 11, bested Jeremy Bury of France, 50 to 39 in 29 innings for a 1.724 average. 

In the finals, Sidhom jumped to a 13 to 3 lead, but then stalled, the points becoming harder to get. He limped for several innings, and Jaspers caught up at 14 after a run of 9. The players traded billiards for several innings. After 15 innings, they were notched at 21, each player showing some nerves. Jaspers was able to calm himself and pushed ahead, building a steady lead through the middle innings. The Egyptian cueist tried to cling to his opponent, but Jaspers continued to build his lead. At 44 to 36, Jaspers made 3, putting victory in sight. Sidhom responded with creative shot making and a run of 6, before missing a short-short-short from an impossible diagonal position. After the run, it was clear that Sidhom’s perseverance, creativity, and mental toughness had won over the crowd, but bad-to-impossible leaves of the balls eventually proved too much for the young dentist from Cairo. 

Jaspers stepped to the table, his white ball in the corner and balls 2 and 3 at the opposite end of the table. He pondered the position as the shot clock ticked down. With 4 seconds left, he played an up and down—short, short, long—clipping both balls after the third rail. After a missed double the rail, the balls rested in another impossible position. Sidhom played the shot of the game, a bounce-back five cushion for his 43rd point, but the balls would not cooperate. After Sidhom missed from a difficult leave, Jaspers closed out with a run of 2, securing his 27th World Cup victory. The crowd erupted into applause for the victor, but the audience also showed its appreciation for the second-place winner with a long ovation, and the 35-year-old Egyptian was emotionally moved by the acknowledgment.

America had 34 players compete in the World Cup, a dozen more than its allotment. America was the recipient of bad luck by the Vietnamese contingent, who could not secure Visas for all their players. At the last minute, 10 players from the Asian country dropped out, opening the door for eager American three-cushion enthusiasts. The highest finish of a United States player was accomplished by Pedro Piedrabuena of San Diego. The multiple-time US National champion was selected by Predator as one of its two wild card selections. Seeded into the final 32 players, Piedrabuena won his group with two victories and a tie, thereby advancing to the knockout phase. In the first round, Piedrabuena met an old foe, Torbjörn Blomdahl of Sweden. The American played a marvelous game, leaving the six-time world champion bad position after bad position. With a sprint at the end, Piedrabuena came out on top, 50 to 38 in 30 innings (1.666). In the quarter finals, Piedrabuena played another spirted game, but ended up on the wrong side of the ledger, losing to Sidhom 50 to 43 in 27 innings. For his efforts, Piedrabuena finished 6th in the final rankings, adding 26 points to his world ranking.

Predator’s other wild card selection, Hugo Patiño of New York, failed to get out of his group in the main draw. Drawn into Group C, Patiño struggled in a loss against Blomdahl, losing 40 to 23 in 23 innings. He fared better against Pedro Gonzalez of Colombia, winning 40 to 27 in 29 innings. Patiño’s best game came in a losing effort against Dani Sanchez of Spain, who notched 40 in 20 innings to Patiño’s 30 also in 20 innings. Patiño finished with a very respectable grand average of 1.291 but could do no better than 3rd in the group. Patiño finished 24th in the final rankings. 

Piedrabuena and Patiño were not the only Americas to shine on the Las Vegas stage. Hometown player Frank Torres, now well into his 70s, made a glorious run, advancing from the PPQ round to the Q round before falling short of the main draw. The Silver Fox, who finished 2nd in the 1987 world championship, finished 50th with a grand average of 0.907 and a best-game average of 1.235. Jesus Corona, from Las Angeles, had the high run for the entire tournament, a 16 made in the PPQ round. 

The World Cup will return to Las Vegas the next three years, again sponsored by Predator.

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Appleton continues eight plus year relationship with Predator Cues

Jacksonville, FL. – Predator Group is proud to announce the renewal of its sponsorship agreement with World Champion Darren Appleton


"Darren is a phenomenal player and team member. His performances and titles are clearly amazing, but many people don't realize just how much his testing and feedback have aided our product development. Darren's not just talented, he's a terrific guy to work with and we're thrilled to be continuing our relationship with him," said Kyle Nolan, Dir. of Branding and Communications at Predator Group.


"Predator has a great team. I've been playing and winning with their equipment for more than 8 years. They're truly committed to raising the bar with new technology and equipment," said Darren Appleton.


Darren just returned from China where he finished third at the Chinese Eight-Ball Masters Invitational. Look for Darren next at TAR 38 on January 17th, and then he'll be on to the Derby Classic. 


Predator Group, an international billiards industry leader, is focused on bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiards players worldwide. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, Predator Group’s core brands include: Predator Cues® – high-end (professional level) cues with revolutionary technology to enhance performance; Poison Billiards® – recreational cues with cutting-edge designs and Predator engineering for best-in-class playability; and Uni-Loc® – precision billiards equipment manufacturer. For more information regarding Predator Group’s products, visit

Niels Feijen Inaugural Longoni Capelle Open Champion

Mosconi Cup MVP Niels Feijen begins 2014 like he ended 2013, with a win.

Last weekend, the inaugural edition of the Longoni Capelle Open was held in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The owners of the venue, Petra and Roy van Straalen, celebrated their 25th anniversary in the billiards business with this fantastic 10-ball event, as well as a 3-cushion Grand Prix. The latter was won by world Champion and Longoni ambassador Dick Jaspers. The Longoni Capelle Open counted no less than ‘147’ entries. A typical number, since Petra and Roy van Straalen contributed immensely to the growth of snooker in the Netherlands, with their five pool and renowned snooker halls. Participants from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and as far as France, Denmark and Sweden attended the event.
Four days of qualifications rounds saw the 32 best players emerge to advance to the main tournament on Sunday January 5th 2014. The format of the main tournament was 'double knock out’, races to 7, until the quarter finals, with races to 8, onwards. Throughout the tournament, the 'alternate break' was a in force and the balls were racked with the Magic Ball Rack. The Clash Competition pool tables by Loontjens Biljarts were re-fitted with beautiful brand new Iwan Simonis 860 cloth. The pool tables and Aramith pool balls were brushed and polished, daily, to offer perfect playing conditions.
To add value to the event, live streaming video coverage was brought to the audience at home by and match results were updated on Facebook. Additionally, some matches were recorded in high definition. Hundreds of fans followed the action.
In the end, a high standard of 10-ball was brought to the table by no less than ‘The Terminator’ Niels Feijen, ‘El Niño’ Nick Van Den Berg, ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Huidji See, many other pros and semi-pros. The audience in attendance was treated to 'break and runs’, great tactical safety play, amazing ‘kick shots’, ‘jump shots’, comebacks from near defeat and even ‘donuts’. Eventually, there could only be one winner. In the final, The Terminator bested Kung Fu Panda in an even match up to 6-6. Despite the late hour, Niels Feijen had enough energy reserve to haul in the 8-6 victory with great determination.
Feijen had to take a detour on his way to the final, as his fellow Dutch team mate Marco Teutscher sent him to the ‘one loss side’ in the ‘double knock out’ format. Eventually, Feijen was back on course, beating Geordie Sahilatua (7-2 in the 'final 12’), Nick van den Berg (8-2 in the quarter finals), Belgian pro Noël Bruynooghe (8-4 in the semi finals). Huidji See, on the other hand, had a smoother trip towards the final, with five straight wins: 7-1 against Geordie Sahilatua (1st round), 7-2 against Frank Spinnewijn (2nd round), a 7-6 'double hiller’ against fellow Dutch team mate Marc Bijsterbosch, another 7-6 thriller against Daniel Kandi from Denmark in the quarter finals and 8-5 against Jimmy Worung in the semis.
The event was more successful than expected and, with great anticipation, the intention to organise the 2015 Longoni Capelle Open has already been announced.
The Longoni Capelle Open was brought to you by Longoni, Loontjens Biljarts, Kamui.
The final ranking and payouts:
Winner €1.000 Niels Feijen
Runner-up €600 Huidji See

Semi-finalists €300 Noël Bruynooghe (B), Jimmy Worung

Quarter-finalists €200 Nick van den Berg, Marc Bijsterbsoch, Daniel Kandi (DK), Marco Teutscher

9th Place €150 Mitch van den Bergh, Martin Steinlage (D), Geordie Sahilatua, Gijs Van Helmond

13th Place €100 Jörgen Haglund (SWE), Hoa Nguyen, Oi Chun Chan, Otman Acharrat

17th Place €60 Joshua Harkelijn, Vincent Hoogendijk, Frank Spinnewijn, Helmut Osterloh (D), Mario Martokarijo, Anthony Wever, Elroy Janssen, Wiresh Laloe

25th Place €40 Alain DaCosta (F), Ralf Zigahn, Arco van der Velden, Nikola Dukiç (F), Lennaert Speijker, Aziz Moussati, Joram Hensens, Jelle Kijlstra


Two Titans of 3 Cushion Billiards in a Game of 600 Points with a 15,000 Euro Prize

The “Foundation Juan Jose Trilles” for the Development of Knowledge and the Arts announces the event “Juanjo Trilles Challenge” of three cushion billiards where the competitors will be Frederic Caudron and Dick Jaspers in a tournament of only one game and 600 points during 4 days.

The tournament will be celebrated in Marxuquera (Valencia) Spain, from 27 to 30 June 2012 and will be broadcasted to the whole world with a live feed via the website: Seats may be purchased in the actual room where the tournament will take place and it is also possible to book 5 nights with breakfast in a hotel.

All the information can be seen in the interview with Dr. Juanjo Trilles that appears on the website: It is also possible to request a seat for the tournament in the option “I WANT TO ATTEND” in the entrance page of this site.


The “Foundation Juan José Trilles” was created in the year 2002 with the purpose of promoting and funding actions that would increase the Knowledge about Human Beings and Creation, as well as disseminating the most creative artistic manifestations.

During the last 10 years it has sponsored and organized public and private events in line with the object of its existence. For example, the CIM, International Music Courses held in the summers of 2002 and 2003 with the assistance of the best musicians in the world. It has also sponsored a significant number of conferences and meetings where diverse points of view have been analyzed about philosophy and religion, including approximations towards Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Vedanta, Zen, etc. as well as scientific subjects such as the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Physics.

In 2011 the Foundation organized and sponsored, with great success, the “Juanjo Trilles Cup of Artistic Billiard” bringing together the best eight players in the world of this extraordinary and beautiful speciality. It has also created the Juanjo Trilles School of Billiard.

Four Men Qualify for AGIPI Billiards Masters Championship Rounds

Roland Forthomme

Our last day at the AGIPI Billiard Masters dawned snowy and chilly but the action in the arena was just beginning to find its heat. On table one Kyung-Roul Kim had to have a win against Roland Forthomme to keep his chances alive. On table two Jean-Christophe Roux knew that his chances were already gone but still he wished a good show against Nikos Polychronopoulos.

As is usually always the case, the early innings were spent adjusting to the rails. Runs of 1, 2 and 3 get the arms accustomed to the conditions of the day and prepare for grander things to come. Kim was the first to show comfort. In inning 3 he presented a run of 10 points to set the early mark and claim the first bonus of the day. At this point he led Forthomme 12-4 with an average of 4.0.

Roux had not shown his true form this week and today things also were not going his way. By the fifth inning he trailed 18-5. He was not off much. His caroms were just barely missing the mark time and again. His frustration showed more with each return to the chair. Sometimes the gods ignore your pleas. It is a terrible feeling, as being lonely in a crowd. The audience so wanted his points to make, but the balls refused all offers.

Roland Forthomme is a very tenacious player. He is a kamikaze who refuses to surrender to anyone. While his early efforts produced nothing spectacular, he was consistently running one or two or three per inning and after 6 innings was still in the hunt trailing Kim only by the margin of 13-10.  Kim tried to stretch out a bit in the last half of that inning by putting down a 5 to lead 18-10 but Forthomme showed no concern, only determination. He is a scary competitor. He is the kind of guy you would want on your side in a fight. If you broke his arms he would fight with his feet. If you broke his legs he would no doubt fight with his head. He would never lie down and certainly never give up.

That kind of determination usually pays off, but the brilliance of Kim kept breaking through the clouds. A run of 8 increased his lead to 26-15. Forthomme needed to develop the table into a position where he could close the gap.  But the balls he faced each time were not prone to development. He had to travel long distances each time and he rarely had his choice of speeds.

On table two the tragedy continued for Roux and in inning 14 he trailed Polychronopoulos 33-20. Again and again he could not generate more than a single point while the Greek was making twos and threes. Not the exciting performance of a hare, but the faster turtle will still win the race. By the end of the 17th inning the score had worsened to 46-27. A single inning later found Polychronopoulos on the hill at 49 with Roux requiring a miracle. The miracle avoided him and Polychronopoulos pounded the final coffin nail in inning 21 to bury the match 50-35. His average was an admirable 2.381 compared to the 1.667 of Roux.

Table one contained the true drama of the moment. In inning 15 Forthomme took the lead at 31-30 with a run of 4 points, a run that matched his best performance of the day. And Kim had cooled. He was having a great deal of trouble with the layouts that he was given and the zeros continued to fall his way. Now trailing in averages by 1.824 to 1.765, Kim needed to return to the form with which he had begun the day.

Forthomme continued to just grind away with short but consistent runs. He kept coming with great opening shots that positioned the balls for more points. After 21 innings he led Kim 39-32. Certainly not a comfortable margin, but a lead is a valuable asset as the finish line draws near. Kim seriously needed a run, but desperation and a smooth arm are not often found in the company of one another. Time and again the zeros drove him to the sidelines. Forthomme's small runs were like Chinese water torture. No single serious blows but the drops were wearing a hole in Kim's armor. And Forthomme can come with long runs at any moment. He had already given us a 15 and a 14 this week. In inning 23 he came with his best effort of the match thus far and posted a run of 5 on the back of a marvelous masse shot that brought the hands of the crowd together in earnest applause. At 44-33 Forthomme had the odds in his corner while Kim sat alone.

Finally, in inning 25, Kim found a table that he could work with. He massaged the balls around the baize and found point after point. He would not retire his cue until he had made 10 points and brought he match close at 44-43. Forthomme needed to put him away, not allow any more opportunities. A single point was not enough. Kim came back with the chance to win the match but another zero found his cue. That same zero crashed the effort of Forthomme, however, and so the match could have gone either way. By inning 28 the match was tied at 45, so the cruel brevity of a race to 5 points would determine this critical match.  

Forthomme reached the 50-point mark first, but Kim (playing the yellow ball) still had an opportunity to tie. And he only needed a run of five to do so. He fell short by two and Forthomme won 50-48 with an average of 1.613 to the 1.548 posted by Kim in a match of 31 innings.

The second set of matches on the final day featured Semih Sayginer VS Frederic Caudron and Ramon Rodriguez VS Martin Horn. Sayginer needed a win with a high average to have a chance at getting through. Caudron, with three victories already under his belt, was in a more comfortable situation. Rodriguez fate was in the hands of others, as he needed to beat Horn as well as have some other players lose. Horn was also on the cusp, but his chances were still good.

Horn began his charge early, coming straight out of the box with a run of 8 to begin the second inning. Sayginer and Caudron traded minor runs until Caudron found a run of 6 points in the second half of the 3rd inning to lead 11-6. The first man on either table to reach the halfway point was Frederic Caudron who, with a run of 6 in the tenth inning led Sayginer 30-15. Within moment Martin Horn also reached halfway on table two as he led Rodriguez 25-8.

Caudron was giving Sayginer very little air. In inning eleven he came with yet another run of 8 points to lead 38-17 and carry his average onto high ground at 3.167. Sayginer languished at 1.417.  Horn was delivering a similar message to Rodriguez as with the score at 27-11 his average of 2.455 towered above the 1.000 of the Peruvian.

Caudron never let up the pressure. In inning 13 he finished with an 8 to destroy Sayginer 50-13. His average was 3.846 compared to 1.308 for Sayginer. Caudron thus qualified for the finals in March.

This left us with still the match between Horn and Rodriguez to finish. After fifteen innings Horn had a nice lead at 36-16 and his average of 2.25 was dominating the 1.00 of Rodriguez. But Rodriguez made a nice run of 9 to keep hope alive at 36-25. He repeated that run of 9 performance in the very next inning to bring it very close at 36-34 and firm the arm of Horn with his 18 unanswered points. Horn then made a 3 to get to 39. Both men slowed their pace of play.  Neither wanted to make that first big mistake. They traded off short runs of 1 and 2 points that allowed Rodriguez to stay within reach without earning the lead.  

Trailing by 45-39, Rodriguez came to the table with a rudimentary opening shot. He capitalized on that and then made a stunning rail-first shot to lift his confidence. But he barely missed his fourth point and had to take his seat still trailing 45-42. He had by now lifted his average to 1.826 compared to 1.957 for Horn and knew that the match was well within his reach.  Again, neither man could grab momentum for a while. The innings drew short and disappointing.  

Then Rodriguez got hot and, at 46-43, he began a run of 7 points to reach 50 points first. A remarkable come-from-behind story. Horn, with the yellow ball, had the opportunity to tie with a run of 4 points.  He made the run and tied the score for our only tie math thus far of the week. Horn finished with an average of 1.923 and Rodriguez matched that with a 1.923 as well. The match required 26 innings. This result allowed Horn to also qualify for the March event.

Our final set for the week was Roland Forthomme VS Eddy Merckx and Nikos Polychronopoulos VS Kyung-Roul Kim. All four of the men in the room had a shot at qualifying for the finals in March. So this was a round of great import as the finals of the AGIPI Masters is the highest-paying event in the world of three-cushion. Kim, with a run of 9 points, took the early lead in his match 15-7 while Mercks led Forthomme 15-9.

Thirty minutes into the matches Eddy Mercks led Roland Forthomme 16-14 and Kim led Nikos Polychronopoulos 23-17.  Play on both tables was as studious as one can be under the stress of a 40-second shot clock.   

At the halfway point Merckx led Forthomme 25-20 while Kim had stretched out to a 34-19 margin over Polychronopoulos. The room was still noted by cautious play. No one seemed to be able to get on a roll. The play was certainly of a high caliber, but the tables just were not setting up for long strings. The averages proved the point with Kim, at 2.211, being the only man over 2. Kim was the most consistent player in the room. In inning 19 at his table he led 44-31 while Merckx led Forthomme 35-25 in their inning 24.

In inning 23 Polychronopoulos caught a gear and executed a nifty run of 8 points to bring the score to 49-41. Kim needed a single point to win and just could not find that final collision. Four times he came to the table and four times the rails would not respond to his commands.  Polycronopoulos kept clawing back into the match and drew within sweating range at 49-45. But finally Kim scored the final point and in inning 26 drew us to a close at 50-45. Kim carried an average of 1.923 to 1.731 for Polychronopoulos.

Merckx and Forthomme were still keeping it close. After 32 innings Merckx led 42-39. Forthomme, the man with the high run of the week at 15, just could not get anything going long enough to let his stroke out. Merckx fared no better. Their averages in inning 34 were 1.265 for Merckx and 1.147 for Forthomme.  

Forthomme grabbed a run of 4 points in inning 37 to tie the match at 44. Once again a short race would prove the victor. Merckx scored a 1. Forthomme matched that to tie us again at 45. Again Merckx found but a single point but this time Forthomme came with a 5 to end the match in the 39th inning. Forthomme carried an average of 1.282 to 1.179 for Merckx.

And so we end this leg of the AGIPI Billiard Masters. Four men have qualified for the March finals form the play this week. Those are Nikos Polychronopoulos, Roland Forthomme, Frederic Caudron, and Martin Horn. They will join Dick Jaspers, Filipos Kasidokostas, Marco Zanetti and Jeremy Bury. One of the four will take the title of Billiard Master and the first prize of 20,000 Euros.

Jaspers And Blomdahl Clash Again in the Final

Dutch Dynamite Dick reaches final once more.

Just as last year Dick Jaspers, the current number one on the world ranking, has made it to the final of the Agipi Masters by defeating Frédéric Caudron in the semifinal.

In the beginning, both players were clearly suffering from the pressure, a combination of respect for the opponent, the live broadcast on Eurosport 2 and the mere fact that the Agipi Masters is the best tournament of the year. The time and place where the champions get the chance to show that they are true champions.

Jaspers, especially, was looking feable at the start of the match. After twelve innings he trailed 18-6 and his body language seemed to tell the tale. Caudron looked like being more in control of his emotions, but neither he brought his A-game. Both players made uncharacteristic errors and the table started to play a part as well. Where the carom seemed to be a certainty, the cueball somehow manouvered behind, around, just past the target-ball. Not five times, not ten times, more like twenty times total during this match, both crowd and player held their breath and looked on in disbelief.

The mark of a champion is to win with his B-game and Jaspers did just that. He recomposed and even though his touch was absent, he started to produce points and taking good care of his positonal play. The turning point, when this refound composure was visible, took place in the thirteenth inning. He made eight points…unresponded, he made two…unresponded, he made three… unresponded. Now he had taken the lead and was not to hand it over to Caudron. All the while Lady Luck was on Jaspers' side, he had three lucky points and he acknowledged his own fortune after making the winning point in thirty-third inning.Dick Jaspers :'Yes i was struggling, but when i made that run of 8 I refound composure. I got lucky in some situations, but I will accept these turns of faith happily'.

Rematch Blomdahl-Jaspers in this year's final

With Blomdahl beating Roland Forthomme in tonight's last semi-final, Jaspers gets the chance to take revenge for his loss against Blomdahl in last year's final. The two icons of three-cushion billiards will clash again this year at 18:00 tomorrow night.

Blomdahl was fully prepared for the encounter with Forthomme : 'I think the win-loss between us to is around 50%. He plays a very committed and powerful game and I knew I had to be ready to perform'.

Even though Blomdahl was in good shape and in phase with the table, he never managed to run away from the Belgian Braveheart. Forthomme stuck to the Swedish Genius making many tough points. Then, it started to affect Blomdahl's game. Now it all came together. The table started to react different, the positions got funny and the arms got rigid.

That's where experience came into play and Blomdahl has plenty of it in these situations. In the thirty-sixth inning Blomdahl threw his fist in the air for sealing Forthomme's faith, who had reached fourty-fourpoints.

Jaspers and Blomdahl will play a rematch of 2008's final tomorrow, with Jaspers eager to change last year's outcome.

Final game is tomorrow at 18:00 on and Eurosport 2 LIVE. Tune in or be connected, but don't miss the end of the best 3-cushion tournament of the year !

AGIPI Billiard Masters 2009 Final Stages Live this Week-End

AGIPI raises the bar again in the world of cue sports, aiming to attain the status of a highly professional sporting event. Twenty of the best players in the world, of which eight world champions, took part in the event. A prize fund of an estimated 130.000€, including an exclusive performance-based bonus system. Three-Cushion Billiard is thus discovering new grounds and fans around the world can witness the marvellous artistry of these eight remaining champions.

2008 Sang Lee Memorial Open Winner Roland Forthomme will first battle with 2008 World Championship Bronze Medallist Jérémy Bury from France.

Center stage action will then follow with record-breaking Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands, who many consider as the favorite of the event, against Eddy Merckx – who played twice 50 points in 17 innings the best performances seen during the qualification.

Friday action will start with the Belgian genius Frédéric Caudron against youngster Filipos Kasidokostas from Greece. It will then be followed by the highlight of these stages: Semih Sayginer against Torbjörn Blomdahl, a Clash of the Titans.
Here is the exciting schedule of the coming days (CET):
Quarter Final 1:  Thursday 12/03 at 18:00 : Forthomme- Bury
Quarter Final 2 : Thursday 12/03 at 21:00 : Merckx- Jaspers
Quarter Final 3 : Friday      13/03 at 17:00 : Caudron- Kasidokostas
Quarter Final 4 : Friday      13/03 at 22:15 : Sayginer- Blomdahl
Semi Final 1:      Saturday  14/03 at 18:30
Semi Final 2:      Saturday  14/03 at 22:30
FINAL:             Sunday    15/03 at 18:00
All matches will be broadcast live on Eurosport 2 and on
Be sure to visit the website for interviews, results, news, pictures, all you need to know about the event of the year. Don't miss the final Live, Sunday at 18:00 (CET).