Thursday, June 29, 2006

Web Gems #1: Players

Every once in a while I come across some fascinating web pages. It could be an interesting story, an intriguing product or an entertaining video. I'll try to pick the very best and present them under the "Web Gems" umbrella. The first installment covers the players:

The history of cuesports is packed with legends and originals. At Billiard History's Untold Stories you can dive into the golden era of billiard. The website is a joint effort from Billiards Digest and Hustler Days author R.A. Dyer.

You can read about Bill "Weenie Beenie" Staton, one of the first inductees into the One Pocket Hall of Fame. And did you know that Mosconi made world debut by weird fluke?

The modern game has its share of profiles too. Billiards Digest's Feature Story archive contains articles on two of the all-time greats; Efren "Bata" Reyes and Earl "The Pearl" Strickland.

Jean Balukas is by many regarded as the greatest female player ever. In 1991 New York Women ran a piece on her called "Too Good for Her Own Good".

See the BCA Hall of Fame for more on these and other great players.

Jason Miller may not be ready for the Hall of Fame yet. His story is just as interesting though. Here's the article from Inside Pool Magazine: Jason Miller Model of a Modern Pool Player.

No matter how great these players are they seldom become household names. In Belgium some players are close though. Raymond Ceulemans is among the carom players to have been included in the series "Belgian International Sport Champions".

Friday, June 16, 2006

Borg and Jans defend Euro snooker titles

Alex Borg from Malta and Wendy Jans from Belgium came out on top in the European Snooker Championships. The event was held 5-15 June in Constanta, Romania.

Borg beat Jeff Cundy (England) 7-5 in the final while Jans whitewashed Isabelle Jonckheere (Netherlands) 5-0.

The Maltese star probably had his toughest battle in the semis against Norway's Kurt Maflin. That match was decided on the final colors in the deciding frame.

A Main Tour spot was on offer to the winner of the men's event. Cundy had already secured this prize before a ball was potted in the final as Borg was not eligible, having played on the Tour this season.

This was Borg's fourth final. Prior to last year's win he was runner-up in 2004 and 1998.

Jamie Jones (Wales) had the highest break of the tournament with a 132.

It was an all-Finnish affair in the Seniors final. Jyri Virtanen defeated Kimmo Lång 6-4.

The Romanian Open was played just before the tournament. Netherland's Roy Stolk won the event and a place on next season's Main Tour.

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Selby and Thompson are new world eightball champions

Snooker pro Mark Selby (England) and Sue Thompson (Scotland) won the World Eightball Championship.

Selby, who had to rely on a sponsor's wildcard to get into the tournament, beat favourite Darren Appleton (England) 11-7 in the final. Appleton also finished second in 1994. First prize was £10,000.

Thompson defeated Northern Ireland's Emma Cunningham 8-6 in the women's final. She also beat Cunningham in the 2004 final. Last year the positions were reversed.

Pat McCarron (Scotland) won the Junior title and Karl Read (England) won the wheelchair division. There were also team events in each division.

The tournament took place in Blackpool, England, 5th-15th June.

Please note that this is the English version of the game. Wikipedia explains the differences in detail. Here is an excerpt:
In the version of pool or Eight Ball played in the United Kingdom and Australia, plain unnumbered red balls and yellow balls often replace the solid and striped balls. If not, the terms "bigs" (9-15) and "smalls" (1-7) are generally used instead. The black ball, however, still typically bears a number eight. Another difference is that the UK table has pockets just larger than the balls, whereas the American table has pockets significantly larger.
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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Marcus "Napoleon" Chamat rules in Austria

Sweden's Marcus Chamat won the Austria Open.

In the final he defeated Netherland's Nick van den Berg 10-7. Tour leader Thomas Engert (Germany) and Niels Feijen (Netherland) finished joint third.

With this victory Chamat moves from 6th to 5th in the Euro Tour Ranking. Engert retains his lead and Feijen stays put in second. van den Berg moves past Imran Majid (England) into third.

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Related post: Stolka is surprise winner in Sindelfingen

Friday, June 09, 2006

Gallego grabs Bangkok leg of Asian Tour

Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego (Philippines) won the Bangkok leg of the San Miguel Asian 9-ball Tour. He bested Hong Kong's Au Chi Wai 11-8 in the final.

This makes it two out of two for the Philippines. Reyes won the first leg in Ho-Chin-Minh City, Vietnam.

Gallego earnt $10,000 for the win. The victory must be especially sweet since he came in as a late replacement for Alex Pagulayan.

The next stop on the Tour is Kaohsiung, Taiwan 4-6 August. There are a total of four events on the Tour. The top 10 finishers in the Order of Merit will earn spots in the 2006 World Pool Championship.

See also:Related posts:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hohmann wins World Straight Pool Championship

Thorsten Hohmann confirmed his reputation as one of the world's top players by winning the World Straight Pool Championship, in New Jersey, USA.

This was his second world title. In 2003 he won the World 9-ball Championship.

The 26 year old German beat his countryman Thomas Engert 200-80 in the final. The losing semifinalists were Max Eberle (USA) and Mika Immonen (Finland).

Hohmann also posted the highest run of the event, a brilliant 174 (unfinished) against John "400" Schmidt. That's just eight points shy of Joe Procita's record for tournament play. Here are the top five runs from the event:
  1. 174 Thorsten Hohmann
  2. 132 Mika Immonen
  3. 127 Max Eberle
  4. 125 Mike Sigel
  5. 123 Allen Hopkins
There were three women taking part; Jeanette Lee, Jasmin Ouschan and Megan Minerich. Jeanette Lee made it to the second stage and Jasmin Ouschan finished in an impressive fifth place.

Word is that tapings have been made and that the DVDs should be ready in about 6 weeks.

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Related posts:

Sethi wins fifth World Billiards trophy

India's Geet Sethi won the 2006 World Billiards Championship.

He has now won a total of five world pro titles, but this might have been the sweetest of them all. It's a great achievement to win at 45 years of age. His last win came back in 1999.

Lee Lagan from England took silver after losing 2093-1057 in the final.

Prestatyn, Wales was the site of the championship, which lasted from 30th May - 4th June.

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Related post: Billiards World Championship coming up

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Steve Mizerak passes away at 61

Legendary pool player Steve "The Miz" Mizerak passed away Monday May 29. He was suffering from gall bladder problems and was in a coma at the time of his death. He was 61 years old.

Mizerak's favourite game was straight pool and he won the US Open in this discipline from 1970-1973. He also won the 1978 US Open in 9-ball. Later in life he took to One Pocket, finishing runner-up in two "Legends of One Pocket" events.

He will also be remembered for his appearances on both the small and big screen. He starred in commercials and performed in the movies Baltimore Bullet and The Color of Money.

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