It will be tough to improve on Bordeaux 2016

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on November 20, 2016

It wasn’t  a bad week, was it? Six, seven unforgettable matches, close finishes, superb scoring and more points I intend to replay at home than I can remember (but there is always the Kozoom video archive!).

Jaspers, Blomdahl, Merckx, Caudron. Not their week, but don’t think for a moment that this marks a downturn in their careers. All four have big event wins still in them. Merckx made a strong impression in the group stage, but Jae Ho Cho was a fair winner against him. Neither Caudron nor Jaspers played like a pre-tournament favorite, and Blomdahl ran into a strong (11 inning) performance by Zanetti. All four will be back in a World Cup semifinal (or better) before it’s 2018. Continue reading It will be tough to improve on Bordeaux 2016

Vanity, or the key to success?

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on November 18, 2016

We see Tasdemir struggle in Bordeaux: 40 in 38. A day later, he makes 40 in 15. In the poor match, only the win counted. Is it always that way? Is the game about winning, not about average?

We see Leppens and Bury play the decider in their group. Leppens had the better average, and needed only a draw. That was a huge advantage. Does every inning count?

Truth, version 1. Continue reading Vanity, or the key to success?

“The next one will be horrible”

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on November 16, 2016

“There is no such thing as an easy world record, but the easiest one will probably be the 40 in 6. Someone will make 40 in 5, I am sure. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will happen. Dick was very close already, twice.

The high run? Also very difficult, because to make 29, you need to handle the pressure when you get close. Just ask Fred, and Roland too. Maybe you have played relaxed and you’ve hit the ball well, and then you get over 20, and the pressure starts to build. The cue will get heavier and heavier, until it weighs a ton. And it’s not just pressure in a match situation, there is also fatigue. I have made 33 twice in practice, and you just get tired from focusing and not wanting to miss. Continue reading “The next one will be horrible”

Who are the November Nine?

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on November 6, 2016

The “November Nine” is an expression from the world of Poker. Once a year, after many preliminary rounds, nine poker players will be left to compete for the greatest prize in their sport: the WSOP title, and they do it in November.  If you end up 9th on that final table by the way, you go home with exactly 1 million dollars. Continue reading Who are the November Nine?

The kiss that brings no joy

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on September 26, 2016

f48c420169d98c23bb6e91a4e5c3c2d14042c610.jpgJan Carl, who recorded so many matches of the Carom Tour and the Sang Lee Memorial, is also a fine billiards commentator. He often had a good player in the chair next to him (Min Jae Pak, Ira Lee, Robert Raiford), but the final, wonderful  line was always his:

“This is Jan Carl signing off, hoping your next kiss has nothing to do with billiards.” Continue reading The kiss that brings no joy

It’s all about the break

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on September 11, 2016

Everybody loves the shootout, right? Well, maybe the top players are not too crazy about it. But we, the spectators, are glued to the screen. We’ll sometimes miss a few points here and there early in the match,  we’ll walk the dog if we have to, but not if a World Cup quarterfinal has just ended 40-40 and it’s time for “penalties”, to use the soccer term. Continue reading It’s all about the break

Senior and junior at their best

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on August 12, 2016

f48c420169d98c23bb6e91a4e5c3c2d14042c610.jpgA match to decide who will end 13th in a tournament, and who will end 14th: it does not sound important or exciting. Do the players even care? As it turned out, the 13/14 decider at the Verhoeven Open in New York was the most memorable match of the week, and it will have a place in the record books for a few decades. Continue reading Senior and junior at their best

Know your opponent’s weakness

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Posted by Bert VAN MANEN on July 24, 2016

f48c420169d98c23bb6e91a4e5c3c2d14042c610.jpgOne of the things a billiard player loves, is scoring well. Every 0.500 guy has these 0.750 matches from time to time, and they are like cocaine to his brain. He feels like a 0.750 player, if only for an evening.

There is one thing just as addictive as playing well, but we like it even more: winning matches. “I don’t care that I lost, I played well”. That’s what a momma’s boy says. “I don’t care that it took 123 innings. I won.” Now that’s a real man talking. (He’s lying, but it sounds good) Continue reading Know your opponent’s weakness

The Destruction of My Mind by the Cruel Game of Three Cushion Billiards

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by Seiyul Yu on July 21, 2016

I watch the remarkable match between FC and DJ at AGIPI in 2013 where FC comes from like 30 behind. As I watch the first half, I visualize myself as Jaspers, I am in my mind a billiard machine, steady, invincible. As I watch the second half, I visualize myself as Caudron, making elegant solutions as I run 20. In my mind, I am now a billiard god. Continue reading The Destruction of My Mind by the Cruel Game of Three Cushion Billiards

3-cushion is like poetry