Sunday, December 23, 2007

2007 in the billiard blogosphere

Since posting "My favorite billiard blogs" almost a year ago a lot has happened in our small section of the blogosphere. New blogs have appeared while others have ceased to exist. Here's a short rundown of the year in billliard blogs:

New blogs

A number of new blogs were launched this year. Here are some of the ones I found most interesting:


Grady's Place is written by legendary player Grady "The Professor" Mathews. He has just opened a pool hall in Lexington, South Carolina and gives useful insights on this process. In addition he shares some fascinating tales from his many road trips.

Unfortunately there are very few top players with blogs. Multiple world champion Thorsten Hohmann is one of the exceptions. He launched his blog in September and has so far provided some great content, e.g. from the World Pool Championship. Let's hope he keeps up the pace!

Danish pool player Bahram Lotfy could very well enter the top echelon of his sport. Unfortunately his blog is in Danish, so far too few readers will have the pleasure of following his progress, in competetive play and in practice.

News & results

greenbaize by Andrew Orange and Jonni Fulcher is predominantly a snooker blog, focussing on the major snooker events. Andrew handles the snooker posts while pool star Fulcher provides an inside view of the Euro Tour.

Another blog covering snooker and pool was launched in April. It's called Play89 Pool Blog and keeps you up to date with the essentials (and not-so-essentials) on the billiard scene. It's maintained by the folks at the Play89 online pool room.

As the name suggests NYC Grind is based in New York. It covers both the international and the local pool scene. The articles, mainly written by "Jerry T", makes for an interesting read.

The Philippines is by many regarded as the top country in pool. Billiards Philippines monitors the progress of Philippine players both in national and international competition. The reports are provided by Marlon Bernardino and Jove Sison.

If you're into carom sports and knows a bit of Spanish then Entrada51 is the perfect blog for you. Blogmaster Juan Antonio de los Reyes delivers extensive coverage of events in the no-pocket category.

Snooker Planet is another latin-speaking blog. Author Luis Alves, who writes in Portugese, covers the professional snooker scene in great detail.


I must admit I prefer straight pool and one pocket when it comes to pool. Pocket Billiards therefore is right up my alley, as it deals with the above-mentioned disiplines as well as other great pocket billiard games. Blogmaster Dennis has been playing pool since 1960, but only started playing straight pool in the past few years.

If you're into the technical aspect of pool the Pool Cue News and Review might be the thing for you. The purpose of the site is to review pool cues and accessories, with a preference for products in PoolDawg store. Right now though the blogmaster (identity unknown) is trying to find the ultimate "Billiards Hottie".

Added 24 December: You'll also find some excellent Spanish-speaking blogs over at Billarnet. There are blogs on a variety of subjects, including all the major billiard games. Training Day by Alonzo has a number of interesting looking posts, making me wish my Spanish skills were up to scratch.

Dead blogs

A blog is rather uninteresting if it's not being updated on a regular basis. Some blogs have not had any new postings in 2007 and have therefore been removed from the blog roll:

Others have been closed or died:

All this leaves us with exactly 100 blogs in the blog roll to your right. Let's hope that number will increase in 2008!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Europe finally regains Mosconi Cup

Mosconi Cup 2007Europe won a much wanted Mosconi Cup by beating their US rivals 11-8.

The US team had the best start, leading 4-1 after the opening day. Europe managed to tie up the contest at 5-5 after day two though, and held a 9-6 lead after day three. German Mosconi Cup veteran Ralf Souquet clinched the match by defeating Rodney Morris 6-4.

USA now leads the event with 11-3. Europe's last win came in 2002.

The event took place from December 13-16 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, USA. Matches were singles, scotch doubles and scotch quintuples(!) with alternate break.

To avoid soft breaks there was an additional break rule this year. This rule stated that for the breaker to stay on the table at least three balls had to pass the headstring or be potted. The normal rule that a ball needs to be potted off the break for the inning to continue still was in effect.

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Ronnie O'Sullivan wins fourth UK Championship

Please see the right menu for coverage of the 2008 World Snooker Championship.

UK Championship 2007Ronnie O'Sullivan from England won the UK Championship for a fourth time this weekend.

In the final O'Sullivan overwhelmed Scotland's Stephen Maguire 10-2 to capture his first ranking title since the 2005 Irish Masters.

For the third straight ranking tournament 2006 world champion Shaun Murphy (England) lost out in the semi-finals. This time he was beaten 9-5 by Maguire. Mark Selby from England lost 9-8 to O'Sullivan in the other semi-final.

Defending champion Peter Ebdon was beaten 9-8 by fellow Englishman Ian McCulloch in the first round.

This was O'Sullivan's fourth UK win. He also won in 1993, 1997 and 2001. It was his 19th ranking title, but first since the 2005 Irish Masters.

O'Sullivan received £100,000 for the victory. In addition he won £30,000 for making a maximum in the deciding frame against Selby. That was his eighth maximum in professional competition, tying the record set by Stephen Hendry (Scotland).

Maguire won £46,000 as runner-up. He was looking for his second consecutive ranking win, having captured the Northern Ireland Trophy last month.

The win lifts O'Sullivan from second to first in the provisional rankings. Maguire rises from fourth to second. Shaun Murphy drops from the top spot to third.

The event took place at the Telford International Centre, Telford, England Dec 3-16, 2007. It was the fourth ranking tournament of seven on the 2007/2008 Main Tour. Next up on the snooker calendar is the non-ranking event Saga Insurance Masters which starts 13th January 2008.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Daniel Sánches claims World Cup win in South Korea

Daniel Sánchez from Spain won the three cushion World Cup event in Seoul, South Korea.

In the last match he trounced surprise finalist Chi Tranh Tran (Vietnam) 3-0 (15-14, 15-9, 15-4).

Ramon Rodriguez from Peru and Frédéric Caudron (Belgium) shared third spot.

The home nation's Jae Dong Choi had the highest average in the tournament with 2.357. Caudron's impressive 3.266 was the highest single match average. Martin Horn from Germany had the highest run of 13.

This was Sánchez' first World Cup win of the season. Last year he won twice.

The win moves Sánchez to fourth place in the final World Cup Ranking. Tran enters the list at 20th. The top three hold onto their places, with Torbjörn Blomdahl (Sweden) on top, Caudron in second and Dick Jaspers (Netherlands) in third.

Sánchez advances to third place in the World Players Ranking. Tran is at 39th. Blomdahl is still the leader and Caudron stays in second.

The event took place 10-15 December 2007, in the Ajou University Gymnasium, Seoul, Soth Korea. It was the seventh and final event of the 2007 World Cup. Next year's first event is in Sluiskil, Netherlands, 21-27 January.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Bruno Muratore surprise winner of Costa del Sol Open

Italy's Bruno Muratore won his first major title by grabbing the Dynamic Costa del Sol Open.

In the final he edged Radoslaw Babica (Poland) 10-9 to win €5000. Babica took home €3300 for the runner-up position.

In the semi-finals Muratore beat last event's winner Mark Gray (England) 10-7 and Babica defeated Netherland's Niels Feijen 10-4. Defending champion Fabio Petroni (Italy) finished in 17th place.

This was Muratore's first win on the Euro Tour. Prior to this event he had never even reached the semi-finals.

The win took Muratore all the way from 16th to fourth in the final Euro Tour Ranking. Losing finalist Babica moved from 22nd to 11th.

Gray jumped from 12th to win the 2008 Euro Tour title by a margin of 45 points. He finshed the season with an impressive 3-1-3 run. Konstantin Stepanov (Russia) was relegated to second place, ahead of German legend Ralf Souquet. Last year's winner Nick van den Berg of Netherlands finished the season in 12th place.

The tournament was played 6-8 December at the Torrequebrada Hotel and Casino, Malaga, Spain. It was the seventh and final event on the 2007 Euro Tour. The first event of next season runs from February 7-9 2008.

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