Monday, April 27, 2009

One Pocket - the best game of billiards

As most of you know, One Pocket is my preferred game when playing pool, and by doing this blog-article I hope that I can get a few more players interested in the game.

First of all, I recommend everyone to visit the
OnePocket.org, which is the best website when it comes to information, history and knowledge about this game.

A lot of people think One Pocket is very easy, because it is just to pick a pocket and make 8 balls in it before your opponent does. Well, yes, that is the extreme short summary of the rules, and the purpose of the game.

The game itself is however a lot more complicated, and you need all kind of skills to execute the many different shots needed in this game. You need to play dead perfect safeties, have to be able to bank at a high level, controlling the speed of the cueball and all shots, and when finally given a chance to shoot at your pocket you have to be able to execute it perfectly. As a player you must have the gifts of patience, confidence and creativity.

Many times you can be stuck playing safeties for 15-20 shots in a row, trying to move the balls around the table where they will be in a more favourable position and at the same time a disadvantage for your opponent.

After longer periods of not shooting a ball at a pocket, and then be able to execute a long cut-shot when finally given a chance, that demands focus, concentration and determination. Add some extra pressure on the shot if your chance is a result of a miss by your opponent, and a ball is hanging in his pocket, waiting for you to miss. If you miss, he will run out.

For me, One Pocket is the ultimate pool game.

Yes, some games can last forever, but others can last 3 minutes. It all depends on the level, creativity and style of the players. Matches with Eren Reyes are very seldom boring to watch ;)

If you haven’t played the game, try it for a while. I am sure you will improve on certain areas in your game, and don’t be surprised if you will be playing better 9-ball after just a short period of playing one-pocket.

Here’s some useful stuff for you, books, dvd’s, drills and a couple of great shots. Check it out!





Incardona's instructional DVD

Banking with the Beard. A book and DVD by one of the most famous bankers in the world, Fred Bentivegna. Will definitely teach you how to play better bankpool!

Drills (PAT). In the PAT-books you can find a lot of useful drills that will improve your one-pocket play.

OnePocket.org

Some great shots everyone should try to memorize.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You want a Brunswick Gold Crown V for just $ 20? Read more...

Robin Dodson, former pro-player for women, are now doing a raffle where people can buy tickets for $ 20. She will only sell 500 tickets, and 1 of the tickets will be rewarded with a brand new Brunswick Gold Crown V, shipped and installed at your house, for no extra price. http://www.robindodson.com/Brunswick_Raffle.htm


Important, this offer is ONLY open for people living in USA & Canada, but people from other countries can still buy tickets in the raffle, and then sell the table ;)

The winning number will be pulled during the BCAPL Nationals in Las Vegas in the middle of May.



Snooker Quiz

The World Snooker Championship is now broadcasted live on TV, so I guess we all have learnt the rules by now. :)

Here's a little quiz. If you know the answer of these two, then you certainly know your snooker.

1) Assuming that you are playing a frame of snooker with a full set of 15 reds and all the colours, what is the minimum number of shots which would have to take place in order for one of the two players to have reached a score which exceeds the maximum potential break value of all the balls which would then be remaining on the table.......or in other words for one of the players to be placed in a situation where he needs at least one snooker and all the balls to win?

2) How can you legally pocket the yellow three times in a row?

Do you know the answers? Post a comment!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Total dominance by Jasmin Ouschan in the European Championships!

Congratulations to Jasmin Ouschan from Austria, who happened to be only 5 balls away from her main goal of winning all three diciplines in the European Championships, held at her homecountry Austria.

In the last event of the Championships, 9-ball, she had a stunning 42 - 12 score in racks. She only lost 12 games in 6 matches, and won two of her matches with 7 - 0, including the final against Veronica Hubrtova from Chezk Republic.

In the 8-all it was almost the same story. Her rack wins was 36 while she only defeated 12. Jasmin's powerbreak is too much for her opponents to handle, and she is always playing superb 8-ball compared to the rest of the field.

The first dicipline that was played, 14-1, was were everyone expected Jasmin to win. She has finished 5th, 9th and 3rd in the last three World 14-1 Championships, for men, with major wins against some of the best 14-1 players in the world such as Mika Immonen, Oliver Ortmann and John Schmidt. In the European 14-1 Championships in Chezk Repuplic in 2006, she ran 75 and out in the semifinal for a perfect 75-0 win. In the final she fouled on her opening break, giving her opponent the chance of running 30+ balls. When she missed, Jasmin ran 76 and out for the win.

In my opinion, no woman on earth plays better 14-1 than Jasmin, and I was surprised that she lost the final this year. Although her opponent in the final, experienced Gerda Hofstatter, certainly knows how to play 14-1 very well, I don't think Gerda would consider herself a favourite in that match-up.

In 14-1 Jasmin had a very good overall performance, with a total score of 445 - 186. Impressive!

Jasmin was only 5 balls away from her main goal, since she lost the final against Gerda with 75-70. I can only imagine the major pressure Jasmin felt in the 14-1 final, infront of her family, friends and media, expecting her to succeed in all three diciplines.

Even though she didn't manage to win all three, I think she is very happy and satisfied with 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal.

Once again, congratulations Jasmin!
Would also like to congratulate Nick van den Berg with his first gold medal in the European Championships, winning 9-8 in the final against Russian wonderboy (16?) Chinahov Ruslan.


Mario He vs Vegar Kristiansen in the Quarterfinals of EC

In today's quarterfinals there are two young kids playing. One of them will be facing Norwegian Vegar Kristiansen and is the young Mario He who finished second on one of the recent Eurotours, after beating Ralf Souquet in the semifinal.

The other young player is Russia's Chinahov Ruslan, who will play Niels Feijen.

Today's quarterfinals, available on live-stream at
http://www.epconline.eu/:

Marcus Chamat - Sascha Specchia
Chinahov Ruslan - Niels Feijen
Stephan Cohen - Nick van den Berg
Mario He - Vegar Kristiansen

My guess, based on heart :)

Semifinals:
Marcus Chamat - Niels Feijen
Nick van den Berg - Vegar Kristiansen

Final
Marcus Chamat - Vegar Kristiansen

Winner
Vegar Kristiansen


In the women's division these are the Quarterfinals:

Estelle Bijnen - Gerda Hofstatter
Veronika Hubrtova - Eylul Kibaroglu
Christine Feldmann - Sabrina Naverschnig
Tamara Rademakers - Jasmin Ouschan

I predict a final between Jasmin Ouschan and Eylul Kibaroglu, with Jasmin as winner.


The show starts in 45 minutes. About time to eat breakfast and order the PPV :)




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Unofficial ranking for the Norwegians in the European Championships

Germany and Sweden have forever been the two countries in Europe winning the majority of all medals in European Championships. Germany is superior and it will take decades to pass them, if a country will ever be able to do that, since they keep on getting medals in all divisions and diciplines, for juniors, pupils, seniors, men, women and wheelchair, year after year.

Norway has always been ranked high, and is currently #4 on the overall ranking even though Norway have not been blessed with many medals the last 10 years, and I think it is Austria that know has the #3 spot. Much because of the many medals won by Jasmin Ouschan in the girls and women tournaments.


EDIT: (Norway is ranked #3 on the official EPBF ranking, which is obviously based on gold medals. If based on medals in total, Austria is on 3rd and Norway on 4th. Check the stats here: http://www.epconline.eu/medallist.asp Impressive amount of gold-medals by Germany, or what do you think?.)

During all the past European Championships the Norwegian players have always had a "fun" competition based on who they beat during the tournament.

The score-system is pretty simple. If you win a match, you get 1 point. If you beat a player from Sweden you get 2 points, and if you win against a German you get 3 points.

Based on this, here's the top Norwegian for men and women so far, after the 14-1 and 8-ball is over for the Norwegian players.

Line Kjorsvik - 7 points (4 regular wins + 1 german)
Mats Schjetne - 3 points. (3 wins)

Hope the Norwegians will score lots of points in the 9-ball division :D

Follow the European Championships live at www.epconline.eu


Monday, April 20, 2009

World Snooker Championships, 1st day completed

The first day of the World Snooker Championships, held at "the Cruicible" in Sheffield, UK, is completed.

This event can be watched live on Eurosport/BBC, and probably through live-streams on the net.

Here's the draw:
http://www.worldsnooker.com/ws_championship_drawsheet.htm?tid=124

Sunday, April 19, 2009

European Straight (14-1) Championships completed. Dimitri Jungo and Gerda Hofstatter wins!

Two "minor" upsets in the finals of the European Championships in the 14-1/straigth pool division.

I say minor, because even if both of the winners are champion players, they were certainly the underdogs in the finals, in my opinion.

Dimitri Jungo, one of the better players on the Eurotours (he also won a Eurotour event last year), had to beat Niels Feijen in the final. Niels Feijen, the current World 14-1 Champion, and 4 x European Champion the last 7 years, was the big favourite.

Despite being the underdog, Dimitri managed to beat Niels with a 125-74 score. To get intot the finals, Dimitri beat the 2007 World 14-1 Champion Oliver Ortmann in the semifinal 125-108, young german Thomas Luttich 125-92 in the Quarterfinal and 3rd place finisher in the World 14-1 Championship in 2007 Huidji See in the last 16 with 125-54.

Niels beat the top-ranked German Andreas Rochowsky in the semifinal by 125-107, then his dutch teammate Nick van den Berg in the Quarterfinal 125-97 and Sascha Specchia in the last 16 by the score of 125-44.

In the women's event Jasmin Ouschan will always be the favourite in that dicipline, especially since she has a 5th, 9th and 3rd from the last three World 14-1 Championships in the mens division, but also how she became European 14-1 Champion 2 years ago, running 75 and out in the semi, and 76 and out in the final. (made a mistake on the opening break).

She plays 14-1 a little better than most of the other European women, and will always be the favourite to win that title, but her opponent in the final was not a surprice. Gerda Hofstatter competed in the European Championships for the first time for many, many years, and I guess the reason was that it was being held in Austria, her homeland. Guess the home-crowd were very happy with having both finalists coming from Austria!

Gerda won the final by 75-70.

The 8-ball division has now started.

More information about the European Championships can be found on:

www.europeanpoolchampionships.com

Edwin Reyes shot dead in his home by fake DHL-delivery guys

It's sure been a lot happening the last couple of days...

First I have to say that I am still in shock after getting the message that the perhaps best cuemaker in the Philippines, Edwin Reyes, was shot dead in his house Saturday morning. He had just moved from Davao to Manila with his family, and after spending 1,5 year with the BMPAP-group working for the professional players he had decided to start spend more time with his wife and his 3 kids of age 8, 6 and 4.

There has been a "war" between the two billiard groups in the Philippines, the BMPAP and the BSCP, and Edwin was the press official of the BMPAP. He received lots of threatening text-messages on his phone, including deat threats, but he never seem too worried about it.

2 days after he moved into his new house, two men on motorcycle, disguised in DHL-uniforms had a package delivery to him. Edwin had his 4-year old kid in his arms while signing the paper, and before he finished his signature he was shot in his heart. He died at hospital within one hour.

Very, very few people knew that Edwin had just recently moved to a new house, and since the package was a broken, cheap cue many people now think he got killed because of "poolitics", and that the broken cue was a message to the rest of the BMPAP camp. Edwin never got to open the package, so it surely can't be meant for him?

I don't know what to believe. I am still in a kind of shock. It sounds unreal, but I know it has happened.

I have met Edwin on all my trips to the Philippines, and he was a good guy. I know that he will be missed by a lot of people, and I hope that his spirit and thoughts about pro pool will live on forever.

There are some work in progress for a memorial tournament for Edwin, where the goal is to collect money for his family. I will post more information about this as soon as I get the information.

R.I.P. Edwin Reyes ("Bandido on AZBilliards Forum)


Here's some threads on the forum of AZBilliards.com, about the assassination of Edwin Reyes.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=139253

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=139245

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=139248

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Billiards schedule - tournaments happening in April, May and June.

A lot of things coming up from now till the end of June! It will be A LOT of international tournaments (and three Norwegian tournaments) to follow the next months!!!

Here's a summary:

APRIL
16th - 26th April - European Pool Championships in 9-ball, 8-ball and 14-1 for men, women and wheelchair.
Livestream
18th - 19th April - JPBA Hokkaido Open in Japan
18th April - 4th May - World Snooker Championship Live on Eurosport & BBC
26th April - 3rd May - AMWAY WPA Women's World 9-ball Open, Taipei


MAY

1st - 3rd May - Zagreb 8-ball Open, Croatia
1st - 3rd May - Interpool Open, Sweden
1st - 3rd May - Bergen 10-ball Open, Norway
4th - 6th May - TAR: Darren Appleton - Dennis Hatch, race to 100, 10-ball, Las Vegas Livestream
8th - 10th May - World Pool Masters, Las Vegas
8th - 10th May - TAR: Rodney Morris - Chris Bartram, race to 100, 10-ball, Las Vegas Livestream
10th - 16th May - Predator 10-ball Championships, Las Vegas
Livestream???
20th - 22nd May - Eurotour Sindelfingen 10-ball, Germany Livestream
22nd - 31st May - Philippine 10-ball Open, Philippines Broadcasted live on TV?
24th - 29th May - APBU Women's 9-ball Championships (ASIA), Korea
29th - 30th May - Norwegian Team Championships (9-ball, 8-ball, 14-1) Livestream 29th - 30th May - Malmo 10-ball Open, Sweden Livestream?


JUNE
1st - 7th June - WPA Women's World 10-ball Championship, Manila, Philippines Live on Philippine TV
8th - 14th June - WPA China Open
16th - 21st June - EPBF Nations Cup Livestream
17th - 21st June - WPBA Classic Tour Event Livestream + ESPN
19th - 21st June - Norwegian 10-ball Championship, Oslo Livestream
20th - 21st June - JPBA 9-ball Festival, Japan
27th June - 6th of July - Qatar International Open 9-ball, Qatar

Phuh....

Guess I need to go to the store and buy beer and popcorn so I am ready for all the online updates on these tournaments :D

Please leave a comment if there are any other tournaments worth to mention around the world during these months, and I'll edit my list.

Billiard blogs and websites I read often

During a week I am browsing a lot of websites related to pool, to see if there is any new information available.

This is a list of some of the websites I normally visits atleast once in a week:

www.azbilliards.com - World's biggest newssite for pool. American site, with lots of information on regular tours around America. Checking the frontpage and forum on a daily basis.

www.insidepoolmag.com - They got the nicest magazine out there, but I don't like their website. Too much pictures, videos, links. Too much on very little space, imo. But checking every now and then what they have to say.

www.pro9.co.uk - European site, but since the owner is British most of the news are about English poolplayers or tournaments.

www.biljardforbundet.no - Norwegian Pool Federations's official website.

www.nielsfeijen.nl - Niels Feijen's official website. He is updating his news very often, so I am checking his site very often.

www.souquet.de - Ralf Souquet's official website. I love his tournament-articles, and I am checking it about once a week to see if he has updated it yet, but seems like he has quit with that... Last updated in November...

www.jasmin-ouschan.com - Jasmin Oushcan's official website. She has great tournament-articles, and the site is normally updated a couple of times each month.

http://sarahrousey.blogspot.com - Sarah Rousey's official website. I am following her blog, so checking it every time she updates. Like her style of writing, and it's fun reading about her experiences.

http://massiveunderstatement.blogspot.com - "OMGWTF"/Melinda Huang's blog. She has some of the funniest stories about pool, and I especially like to read about her visiting the big pro-events. Check her review's on for example the IPT tournament in Reno.

http://icemanmika.blogspot.com - Mika Immonen's blog, where he updates about his latest wins. He seems to never lose in tournaments anymore, so it's basically about what tournament did he win last week...

www.pooltipjar.com - Samm Diep's official website. Samm is a writer for InsidePool, and she has a nice blog/website with lots of information. Her latest article about a video-instructional is worth a visit :)

http://anitokid.blogspot.com is a blog about mostly Filipino-pool. I love to read his stories about Efren Reyes etc., and is checking his site every now and then to see if there's some interesting news about the top Filipinos.

Some weeks I visit more sites, and some weeks I do not visit all these sites, but during a year these are basically the sites I visits with a higher frequensy than others.

How about you? Do you have any websites that you strongly recommend me to visit?

Please share them with me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Woman World 10-ball Championships, 31 may-1 June Philippines

Dragon Promotions and WPA will stage the first ever Woman World 10-ball Championships!

It will be held in Manila, Philippines, and there will be 6 qualifiers held around the world. 2 of them in USA, 1 in Japan and 3 in Philippines.

The qualifiers in USA will be held in Orlando, Florida the 2nd and 3rd of May, while the Tokyo, Japan qualifier will be held the 11th of May.

The three qualifiers in Philippines will be held the days before the main-event starts!

For more information about the event and qualifiers, visit http://www.dragonpromotions.com/

As always I am cheering on one of my favourite-players, Jasmin Ouschan, in this event.

I know a lot of people feel it's about time for her to start dominate the women's events, and I am pretty sure that she will (already is?) be the best female player in the world someday. I predict she will be for women's pool what Ralf Souquet has been and still is for men's pool. Always a threat to finish top 3 in all events he is joining, a class act and a good ambassador for our sport.

It would for sure be fun to see her take home the World Championship, but to achieve that goal she needs to bring her best game and beat all the top women in the world!

Mika Immonen vs Niels Feijen in Blackpool Open in Finland

The Blackpool Open was once again held in Finland during Easter holiday. It's a handicap-tournament race to 7 only, where the best players have to give games on the wire/head start, to other players.

Last year, in 2008, Niels Feijen beat Mika Immonen in the final, Niels kicked Mika's ass with a demolishing 7-0.

They also had a mini-tournament for all contestants where you played one-rack only. The guy who won the mini last year won almost 2,000 Euro!! ($ 2,500)

This year Mika Immonen, Niels Feijen, Marcus Chamat and some other good players entered. It's basically a fun-tournament for all the amateur players, and they just love that there are pro's there battling it out together with them.

Still, the pricemoney aren't too bad either, with 5000 Euro first and 1500 Euro for second.

The final this year was almost a re-run from last year. Mika Immonen vs Niels Feijen. The only difference this time was that Mika was not on the losing side of the table, and he managed to beat Niels with 7-3 to become the new Champion!

Congratulations Mika, with another 1st place.

Must be boring to win all those tournaments :D

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Efren Reyes - Mika Immonen at the 7th Derby City Classic 9-ball

Here you can watch the just added match on YouTube by BClub.

It's a match where Efren Reyes is playing nearly perfect 9-ball against Mika Immonen.

Enjoy the clinic put up by the Magician :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRvwlX3ihRg

Friday, April 10, 2009

Predict the outcome of the World Snooker Championship!

Who do you think will win the "2009 betfred.com World Championship?"

By visiting this link
http://ep.laboremus.no/registration.asp?comp=2009 you can try to predict the winners of all the matches at the World Snooker Championship, from the first round to the final!

Registrations are free, and first prize is the acknowledgement of being the best to predict the World Championship + a fantastic price! Read more :)


It's the author of the blog http://www.billiardpulse.com/ who has created the site, and he is running this contest for I think the 15th year in a row now. 1200+ people tried to predict the outcome in 2000, but the average the last 5 years has been around 650. If you are interested in snooker, the website http://www.snooker.org/ is also worth a visit.

The World Snooker Championship competition ends 18th of April.


In addition to the points and the pride of being number one on the list, the winner will also receive an autographed cue, personally signed by many of the world's top players, including Ronnie O'Sullivan, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White.






Music while practicing

The other day I was reading on a blog by John Chow, about a contest sponsored by http://www.onlineradiostations.com/, where other bloggers can win $ 4,000 in cash just by doing a review of their radiostations.

I thought this was something I could join, since when I am practicing pool the radio is always on. The last couple of days I have not used my regular radio, but instead listened to a few selected of the hundreds of stations available on OnlineRadioStations. Since I am practicing on my own table, I could bring my lap-top and loudspeakers and listen to the kind of music I like.

I have mostly listened to channels where they play music of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and music like that, and I haven't been dissapointed about the selections I found on OnlineRadioStations.

Anyway, this contest made me curious about how other poolplayers do when practicing pool alone. I know many players like to use iPod's when practicing, but I have never liked to practice using iPod. I enjoy listening to the sound of the chalk, the tip hitting the cueball, balls hitting eachother, and finally the ball dropping in the pocket. When using iPod during play I have felt that something is missing, and for me the sound of pool is a big part of the "whole package" of playing pool, and it wouldn't be as stimulating and relaxing without the sounds I have become so familiar with.

If I played pool using headsets I think I would have missed all the barking and woofing of the other players at the poolhall, and it would have made me crazy trying to figure out what people were talking about all the time :D

During Derby City Classic I saw a player with big headsets (sp?) on during his matches. I had never seen anything like that before, and especially not during a tournament. That would not be allowed on Norwegian tournaments. Another player used iPod during his match, and his opponent actually had to tell him to reduce the volume because it bothered him when he was at the table. It would probably bothered me too if my opponent used iPod during a match, so I don't blame him.

Personally I prefer having the music on in the background, and when playing my best pool music by the already mentioned artists are normally on loud, mixed with songs by Guns N'Roses, Dire Straits and U2. My favourite artist to listen to, no matter what I do, is Bob Dylan.

If I ever start another poolhall I can guarantee you that it will be that kind of music in the background. Perhaps it will end up with only me playing there, but atleast I will have a good time :D



European Pool Championships

The European Pool Championships for men and women will start in about one week. This year it will be held in Austria, and the players will battle it out in three diciplines, 14-1, 8-ball and 9-ball.

At the official homepage, http://www.epconline.eu/, you can check the registered nations, players, player profiles, hall of fame, photogallery and during the tournaments you will get rack-by-rack update from all matches, all rounds. On top of that some of the matches will be broadcasted live on their stream.

Obviously, I am rooting for the Norwegians. I am especially hoping that Line Kjorsvik will do well, and become the first woman to win all 3 events in one year. It would also be nice if Vegar Kristiansen can improve his bronzemedal in 14-1 from last year. I am curious of how Ronny Oldervik will perform, and have a feeling he will do very well in the 8-ball. Would be cool if one of the 5 men players from Norway could get atleast 1 medal this year also.

Norway is still ranked 4th in Europe on the Hall of Fame of medals won on the European Championships, just passed by Germany, Sweden and Austria, even though it is a long time since the men were regulars top 3 finishers at the EC. It's time to perform better than the last 10 years if Norway is going to keep that ranking!

I am a fan of good pool, and I normally root for Ralf Souquet, Niels Feijen, Darren Appleton etc., during big tournaments, but at the EC I am having other "favourites" that I hope will do good.

Here's some of the players I want to do well:

Artem Koshovyy from Ukraine. A young boy with amazing talent. Shoots great with both hands, and has at young age got great finishes in many international tournaments. Feared by a lot of the top-players.

Jasmin Ouschan is another player I always root for, and as long as she won't be playing against Line Kjorsvik I will normally root for her. Albin Ouschan Jr., her brother, is another great talent worth watching if you get the chance. Don't be surprised if he gets a medal in one of the three mens events!

Thomas Luttich from Germany is another great young player, and I just love to watching him play pool. The way he walks around the table, and the confidence he has when playing is just awesome. Watch out for this man. If I am not mistaken he became German 9-ball Champion last year. As a side-note Thorsten Hohmann won the World Championship before he finally managed to win a German Championship...

Chinahov Ruslan isn't even old enough to watch movies like "Seven" or "Pulp Fiction", but he is playing phenomenal pool. Has two great finishes on the Eurotour, and I believe he will also play in the upcoming World Pool Masters. He is however not my favourite Russian player.

Russian Konstantin Stepanov, in his mid-twenties I believe, has one of the most fantastic styles and his stroke is nothing else than pure beauty. About 2 years ago he was ranked #1 in Europe for almost a year, performing well on the Eurotour and the European Championships. I remember I watched him beat Efren Reyes in the knock-out stage at the World 9-ball Championship in Manila, 2007, and even though I was sad since I rooted for Efren to win, I enjoyed the show Konstantin put up.

Looking forward to the Championships! Let the games begin :)


2 and out

21 players at the tournament in Stavanger. I got a bye in the first round so had to wait 2,5 hours before my first match, but the waitingtime didn't bother me. I felt good, wanted to do well and was relaxed and ready.

Well, I ended up losing my first two matches. I felt so uncomfortable at the table, couldn't get out on open tables. The only thing I managed was to play good safeties, and I won 2 games on 3 fouls. Unfortunately I couldn't win all games on fouls, so had to run out also. I missed five easy/medium 9-balls, leaving my opponent easy 9 and easy 10. In a handicap-tournament race to 7 alternate break, that is brutal, especially when I was down 6-1 in both matches after just a few racks. I was out of the tournament before the fun started.

Sometimes that's just the way it goes.

Raymond Hauge played Trond Larsen in the final. They splitted the money and just played one rack to get a winner, and Trond ended up winning that game :)

I played a couple of games with Raymond before his Quarterfinal, and it as fun playing him. Even though he hasn't pocketed a ball for 4 years he would still do very good if he played national tournaments again. Hope he will start to play again, but doubt it.

Maybe I will play a regional tournament here in Stavanger next weekend, but most likely my next tournament will be the Bergen 10-ball Open the first weekend of May.

Wish me luck, if I played like today I need a lot of it!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Upcoming TAR-matches in May

In the beginning of May there will be a lot of pool to watch for us die-hard fans. Just days before the World Pool Masters in Las Vegas, the Action Report has put Darren Appleton and Dennis Hatch in the box. During the World Pool Masters they will broadcast another match, between Rodney Morris and Chris Bartram. On top of that the BCA has their annual bar-box tournament in Las Vegas, with more than 8000 players.

It will be a great week, with lots of action both for the players, fans and us who likes to put up a few $ betting on our favourite. There will be lots of online-bets made in the TAR-chatroom and also on the forums prior to these fantastic matches.


Here's the press-releases from The Action Report:

Darren Appleton - Dennis Hatch
"On May 4-6 at Pool Sharks in Las Vegas, NV, two of the strongest ten ball players in the world will face off for $20,000 per man, winner take all.

Current World 10 Ball Champion Darren "Dynamite" Appleton will face Dennis "The Hatchetman" Hatch in a race to 100 over three days at Pool Sharks in the notorious "Pit" where many historic action matches have taken place over the years. This match is sponsored by OB Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, BCA Pool Leagues and Baby's Pro Shop.

The exciting and unique TAR Race to 100 format will be played over three days. The players will play Monday May 4th until one player reaches 35 wins, they will return on Tuesday May 5th and play until one reaches 70 total victories and finish the race to 100 on Wednesday May 6th.

Fans can watch all of the action LIVE on streaming Pay Per view at www.theactionreport.com for only $25 for all three days."


Rodney Morris - Chris Bartram
"The Action Report is proud to present another exciting event. On May 8th at 3PM Pacific/6PM Eastern in the TAR BAR at the BCA Pool League 8 Ball Nationals in the Riviera Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, Nevada, Chris Bartram and Rodney Morris will face off in a $10,000 per man challenge match.

Rodney Morris is a former U.S. Open Champion and one of the most feared money players in the world. On May 8th he will face a fearless road man in Chris Bartram. Rodney wanted to get in the ring and Chris stepped up and made a game with him.

The game is ten ball, 15 Ahead with Chris receiving a ball spot. The spot consists of the "Call 8 and 9" which means that when Chris pockets either the 8 or 9 ball in a called pocket he wins that particular game. All other rules are the same.

Play will begin on Friday May 8th at 3PM Pacific/6PM Eastern. The 15 Ahead set format is a new twist for a TAR match. For example if player one wins the first four games and player two wins the next game player one is three games ahead. In this format play continues until one player is 15 games ahead of his opponent at which time he wins the match. Chris and Rodney will play 12 hours the first day and 12 hours the second day if necessary. If by some slight chance there is no one 15 Ahead after 24 hours of play the prize fund will be pro-rated and paid off to whoever is ahead at the time.

You can watch the action LIVE on streaming pay per view at http://www.theactionreport.com/ for $25 for the the entire match. The exciting part of an ahead set format is that it could take two hours or it could take twenty.

Don't miss any of the action. The match will be taking place in the TAR BAR. This exciting new idea is a players lounge and action room with a full bar, television, comfortable seating, four Diamond 9 Foot Pro-Am Tables and several 7 Foot Diamond Smart Tables for players, fans and spectators to hang out, play and watch some great action or just relax with some friends for drinks after their tournament match. This match is sponsored by the BCA Pool Leagues and Diamond Billiard Products.

Special thanks to Jimmy for all his hard work in putting this match together. Come join us in the TAR BAR for all the action !!! "



Posters and press-releases copied from http://www.theactionreport.com/

Don't forget to visit their site and check their store. You will find some fantastic DVD's, including Shane Van Boening - Efren Reyes race to 23 in 10-ball.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

History-review: Norwegian 9-ball Challenge 2006

After the Eurotour for women, in October 2005, both me and the EPBF/IBP, organizers of the Eurotour, wanted to do a men's event too.

Unfortunately the IBP had 3 years contracts with most the 7 yearly tour-stops, and I didn't want to wait that long. So I decided that I could do a tournament of my own.

I worked hard for weeks trying to get in touch with the right person in the Norwegian TV-channel TV2. I wanted to talk to the guy who could say yes or no, not only people that said "maybe, send me an email". That wasn't easy to accomplish, but in the end I finally got a chance to talk to the chief of sportprograms, and loaded with confidence I told him that I wanted to host a pro-tournament in Oslo at our poolhall, and I wanted TV2 to broadcast it.

"No", was his short reply after I had talked for minutes.

I was desperate. I wanted this tournament to happen, and I wanted tv-coverage. I lied.

"Did I mention that Ronnie O'Sullivan has agreed to play?"

That sparked his interest and he put me up for a meeting with another guy.

Now I had a big challenge ahead of me. Not only did I have to get in touch with O'Sullivan, I also had to convince him to join my tournament. I had only organized small local tournaments before, held on evenings in the weekdays.
I made a few phonecalls, and I got to Tony Drago. He told me that Raj Hundal was spending a lot of time together with Ronnie, so I should call him. Got his phonenumber, and called. I ended up convincing Raj, Ronnie and Tony to join the event.

The meeting with TV2 went ok, and I put them in touch with Kozoom Production and Bwin.com, which I had talked to prior our meeting, and now I had dates for the event, 12th - 15th of June, I had 3 great players agreeing to join, tv-coverage (PPV) + livestream and 28 matches broadcasted on Bwin.com where fans could make small bets on the matches.

I then called Niels Feijen, and based on his experience in Oslo from the women's event, he said yes. So did Marcus Chamat, Mika Immonen, Jasmin Ouschan and a few more pros I can't remember right now.

In the end we ended up with 125 players, $ 10 000 first price. We played for 3 days, with groups of 8 players, round-robin race to 5, alternate break.
The players meeting was on Wednesday evening, and O'Sullivan trigged the interest of lots of spectators and media. 3 TV-stations, radiostations, newspapers etc. did stories about the upcoming tournament, and they all wrote about the last match in Ronnie's group, which would be played on Friday at 1 PM. Then Ronnie was scheduled to play on the tv-table against the young Jasmin Ouschan.

At Tuesday night, at 02 AM, I got a text from Ronnie's manager, saying that because of an ear-infection Ronnie wasn't allowed to travel by air, and had to cancel.

That was popular! haha. The 4 players who travelled all the way from Kuwait to play never complained or said a word about it, but I think they wanted to play this event because of O'Sullivan joining. I felt bad for them, but there was nothing I could do. I told O'Sullivan's manager to make a press-release about his cancellation, which the newspapers printed.

Despite of this, the tournament was a huge success. We had more than 35 mini-tournaments during that tournament, with 8 players in each. The tournaments varied from race to 1, $15 entry, to race to 5 $ 150 entry. There was something for everyone, and it was like a big party till closing time every night.
Marcus Chamat was the top seeded after the groups, with only losing 3 games on 7 matches. He was in top-form, and therefore he got to meet the last seeded in the single elimination, young snooker player Kurt Maflin. Kurt Maflin ended up beating Marcus 9-8 in a thriller, and then proceed to finish 3rd in the tournament. Kurt later on won the World Amateur Snooker Championship.

Jasmin Ouschan lost 9-8 to #1 ranked in Netherland, Brian Beekers, in the quarterfinal, and got a nice 5th finish.

The final was a superp performance by Mika Immonen, winning 9-4 over Oliver Ortmann.

History-review: Eurotour for women in Oslo, 2005

15th - 16th of October, 2005, the poolroom Kim and I had just opened 3 weeks earlier, the ElbowRoom, were host for the Eurotour for women.

A week before the tournament the organizer, IBP, sent me a list of all the players and a list of hotelrooms, and there I saw that Niels Feijen were going too, together with Katrine Jensen to support her. I immidiately got his phonenumber and called him, and said I wanted to do a tournament the week before the Eurotour where the winner would play him a race to 9 for the pricemoney. Niels wouldn't have to pay anything, all he needed to do was to bring his cue and play a match against a local player.

He said yes, and we put up a tournament and it became popular to join. In the end Timo Makela won it. Timo was playing good, and I remember watching him beat Mika Immonen 9-3 on the Eurotour when we travelled together to the tournament in Belgium 6 months earlier. He could beat a top-player, but he couldn't do it regulary, but this was just one match.

I also contacted the top 4 on the Eurotour-ranking for women, and asked them if they wanted to play a tournament on Friday evening. They would all be guaranteed money, and it wouldn't cost them anything. I seeded them into the Quarterfinal, and then had a tournament on Friday where all the others, men and women, played for the other 4 spots in the Quarterfinals. I don't remember who won this tournament, but I remember that the women on the tour appreciated what we did for them, and how we treated them.

When the tournament-play ended on Saturday, it was time for the battle between Timo and Niels. Timo was full of confidence, too much perhaps, and wanted to put up about $ 500 more of his own money, and make it a race to 11 instead. Niels agreed, and the many spectators witnessed the first 8 racks being split, with the score 4-4. Then Niels figured out how break on the tripple shimmed Brunswick Gold Crown IV table, and from there it was no contest at all. Niels ended up winning 11-5, but Timo showed a lot, perhaps too much, heart, and it was fun.

After that match I asked him if he wanted to play more against local players, for money. He wasn't sure how to do the handicaps since he had never seen them before, but I took care of that. I told him what the other player should need, and he played. I had a long list of players waiting, and they all got to play either race to 5 or 7 in 9-ball, for $ 30 - $ 60.

Niels ended up winning against almost everyone, but most of the matches were real close, so no one complained about the handicap. It was a great experience for everyone involved. Niels loved it, and played till 6 in the morning, with no breaks at all. He won around $ 2000 that night :)

At Sunday it was time for the Eurotour again, and we all had Line Kjorsvik, ranked #1 on the tour, as our big favourite. The home-crowd cheered on her, but in the end Charlotte Sorensen from Denmark beat her in the final.

Line still ended up as winner of the Eurotour League (ranking) that season, and the tournament in Oslo was unfortunately the last Eurotour for women held...

Final ranking:
http://www.epbf.com/sportsite/Rankings/wometrk.html

Eastern tournaments

As usual, during the holiday-seasons of Eastern and Chrstimas it is packed with small tournaments all over Norway, and they are normally not put on the same dates, which is great.

About 2 years ago, at Christmas, the 27th, I played in a local tournament in Stavanger, then drove 6 h the next day to play in another tournament with $ 500 added in Porsgrunn. The next day I drove to Oslo to play, and then I spent the weekend in Sweden playing Royal 9-ball Masters in Malmo.

I have wanted to do that again, to do a mini-Norwegian-roadtrip, and this Eastern it would be a great time. Tomorrow there is a tournament in Stavanger, the next day in Bergen, and the weekend in Oslo. Unfortunately I am only going to Stavanger this time, for a 10-ball tournament with handcap.

As of now, it is just a small tournament, with 18 players registered so far. I guess we will end up with between 24-32 players, and the total pricemoney will be around $ 500.

This time it will be very cool that one of my favourite players, Raymond Hauge, the player I admired before I had ever seen any foreign players, is going to enter. He hasn't played pool for around 4 years now, and it will be exciting to see him in action again.

He was an amature in 1989, but then decided he wanted to be European Champion within 5 years. He didn't succeed, but during those 5 years he finished 3rd four times, and before he retired he finished 3rd four times on the Eurotour's too. I can't find the stats for all the Norwegian Champions during the years, but I found the stats from 98 till he retired in 2005, and during that period he won 4 Norwegian Championships + atleast 4 Team Championships.

Have already asked him if he remember how to hold a cue, and he said he wasn't even sure where he had put his cues. Will be nice meeting him again. During the World 9-ball Championships in Taiwan I helped him trying to get sponsors and press coverage, and I made a brochure for him. He finished 17th that year.

Hope I will be able to beat him tomorrow. When he hasn't played for 4 years I should have a chance :D

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Youtube: Ralf Souquet vs Efren Reyes

Sometimes it is better to not practice pool yourself, and just sit back and relax a good match between two of the best players in the world.

You can learn far more by studying their moves, patterns, shot-routine etc., in the 1 hour this match last, than practicing yourself for 1 hour. Every now and then it is highly recommended to watch a match, and try to copy some of the things the pros do next time you enter the table.

I haven't watched this match yet, but will start at it right now. I expect it to be a good one. It's from the World Pool Masters 2006, held in the Netherlands, between Efren Reyes and Ralf Souquet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2HXlOPziWM



WPBA San Diego Classic

The last couple of days I have been following the tournament San Diego Classic, which was the first tour-stop this season for the professional league for women, the WPBA.

As usually, 64 women fills the field, most of them regular tour-members but also players who won their spot to this tournament by playing and winning one of many qualifiers out there.

The WPBA San Diego Classic, hosted by Viejas Casino in California for the 13th time, was broadcasted live on the net by AZBilliards.com, on this link: http://www.mogulus.com/azbtv

They broadcasted matches from the first 3 days, and the final 3 matches will be broadcasted by ESPN on later dates. I believe, and hope, that the WPBA will continue with live-streaming on their future tournaments.

I have been sweating most of the matches the last days, except yesterday when I fell asleep during the match between Jasmin Ouschan and Helena Thornfeldt. (It was 2 in the morning here in Norway). I have been doing bets with other viewers in the chatroom, and I happened to lose on that particular match. I had a good run, but lost all I had won on my first two days in just 3 rounds that day. I am still far ahead in online-bets on live-streaming this year, so can't complain.

I have to say that I just love the live-streaming and the way us viewers can both watch the match and also interact with other viewers, and ask questions to the commentators. Many of the players on the tour did some commentary too, and I have to say that there is a future commentator in many of them when their pro-career ends. I was especially impressed with how Jennifer Barretta handled the booth. Very good job.

The tournament is still going on, and unfortunately neither of my two favourites, Line Kjorsvik and Jasmin Ouschan, made it to the final 16 of this event. Sarah Rousey had a good tournament, but seemed to run out of gas in the last match, but still ended in a nice 5th.

Right now the first semifinal has started, and Monica Webb is leading 6-1 over Jeanette Lee. The other semifinal will be between Gerda Hofstatter and Ga Young Kim. I am now hoping that Ga Young Kim will win this event.

You can read more about this tournament, stats, the players etc on www.wpba.com

Here's the brackets for this tournament:
http://www.wpba.com/pdfs/2009SDC-TournamentChart.pdf
News about the tournament can be read on www.azbilliards.com

Thursday, April 02, 2009

9th at Happy Sunday

I went to Oslo to compete at the Happy Sunday event, and 42 players joined, which made it $ 1,000 first price.

I made it to the single-elimination through the winners-side, beating one of the tournaments best players, Kent Halldin, 8-6 to get that spot. In the next round I met Eirik Eide, a former Norwegian Youth Team player, who has a bronze-medal in the European 14-1 Championship.

I didn't play too well in this match, and combined with a couple of bad rolls, I lost 8-3 and finished 9th, and out of the money. If I had won, I would have met the eventual winner, Tom Bjerke, in the Quarter Final and I think it would have been a good match.

Today I played a mini-tournament in Stavanger. 5 people put up $ 30 each, played a round-robin group race to 7, with a final of the 2 best in the group. I ended up winning the mini, but the moment that brought me most joy was to beat the 2009 Norwegian 8-ball Champion for women, Ine Helvik, 7-0 ;) :D (It is more fun to beat some people than other, and Ine just happens to be in the category where a big win feels more wonderful than anything else) :D

That's a nice warm-up for our coming session, which will take place before she goes to the European Championships. She is dying to get revenge now, so will be a great match-up :)

How I practice

Most of the time I practice by playing the Ghost in 9-ball or 10-ball. Sometimes I line up difficult shots or safeties that I have been struggling with, and the rest of the time I am normally using on the system called PAT.

I am using PAT (Playing Ability Test) to test my skills and to see progress, and it is really working great for me.

I have bought the books and DVD's on Amazon, and I recommend it to all players who wants to raise their game to another level.

PAT consists of 4 different levels, from amateurs to professionals. As a side-note, top-players such as Jasmin Ouschan and Thorsten Hohmann uses PAT on a regular basis.

The best part of PAT is that the majority of drills in the books/videos are situations that you often will face in a match. Nothing pleases me more than be in such a situation knowing that I have practiced this and fires it in with confidence.

Check out my Billiard Store and buy the books/dvd's that suits your level!

Streaming from tournaments & challenge-matches, LIVE & recorded