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Mark Gray wins Dynamic Billard Dutch Open

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The Dynamic Eurotour – Dutch Open – 1-4 oct 2014

04/10/2014

Mark Gray (GBR) won the Dynamic Billard Dutch Open with  a 9:6 victory over Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) in the final match of the event.

Gray really had some tough work to do during the last days. He lost his opening match with Karl Boyes (GBR) and had to take the long way over the loser’s round to make it to the final. „I lost to Boyes in the first match and, to be honest, he really thrashed me. In the loser’s qualification round, I had Denis Grabe who won the last two events“, stated Gray after the final, „I never thought I would make it and stand here to day with the trophy“.

Mark Gray (GBR)

Mark Gray (GBR)

Even more spice was added to the match because both players were about equal with the points to make it on the team for this year’s Mosconi Cup. That means that the winner of this match was guaranteed another 10.000,- US$ at least. Nice incentive to win the final match for both players.

The final match in detail

Rack 1
Gray 0 Ekonomopoulos 0

Ekonomopoulos won the lag and had the first break shot. He had balls down and was able to see the 1-ball, but he could not pocket it. He decided to play a push-out and Gray passed the table back to him. Ekonomopoulos then played a safety shot which was not very effective. Gray came up with a better resale and forced Ekonomopoulos to give him a shot. Gray ran the table from there.

Rack 2
Gray 1 Ekonomopoulos 0

Gray broke and cleared the table.

Rack 3
Gray 2 Ekonomopoulos 0

Ekonomopoulos broke and had balls down, but the 1-ball fell into the corner pocket. Gray ran out with ball in hand.

Rack 4
Gray 3 Ekonomopoulos 0

This time Gray did not pocket any balls on his break shot. Ekonomopoulos was able to pocket the 1-ball and cleared the rack to open his account.

Rack 5
Gray 3 Ekonomopoulos 1

Ekonomopoulos executed the break shot and had balls down but no shot on the 1-ball. He played a safety shot and Gray answered with a better resale again. Ekonomopoulos had to play a jump shot and hit it but could not make a ball and left position for Gray. The Brit got to the table and started pocketing. However, he missed an easy straight 5-ball which gave second life to Ekonomopoulos is the rack. Gray left nothing for Ekonomopoulos who tried a combination shot 5-ball to the 9-ball. He missed but the 5-ball was fluked in. Ekonomopoulos accepted the gift and ran the rack.

Rack 6
Gray 3 Ekonomopoulos 2

Gray broke the balls and pocketed one object ball. Since no more balls were pocketed or broke the headstrong, the break was considered „dry“ and Ekonomopoulos came to the table. He played a safety shot. Ekonomopoulos played a jump shot and again flaked the 1-ball in. However, he was left without position for the 2-ball. He attempted a safety on the 2-ball but left a shot for Gray who cleared the table. So far, Gray is the better player.

Rack 7
Gray 4 Ekonomopoulos 2

This time, Ekonomopoulos had one ball pocketed on the break shot but did not fulfill the breaking requirements so it was a dry break. Since the position was not good, Gray gave the table back to Ekonomopoulos who attempted a safety but again failed. He gave a shot to Gray who ran the rack again.

Rack 8
Gray 5 Ekonomopoulos 2

Good break for Gray. Two balls down, correct shot and a nice and easy layout on the table with a shot at the lowest numbered ball, the 2-ball. Completely unexpected, he committed a huge mistake by hiding the cue ball behind the 5-ball when he needed position for the 3-ball. He prevented a foul but allowed Ekonomopoulos back into the table. The Greek went for the safety option and tis time it worked fine for him. Gray tried a resale but left a shot for Ekonomopoulos who ran the rack from there.

Rack 9
Gray 5 Ekonomopoulos 3

Time-Out Ekonomopoulos

Ekonomopoulos comes up with a decent break shot but misses the first shot when he tried to play the 2-ball on to the 3-ball which was hanging over the corner pocket. Gray attempted a safety shot but executed it bot good enough. He left a shot for Ekonomopoulos who ran the rack.

Rack 10
Gray 5 Ekonomopoulos 4

Break and run by Gray.

Rack 11
Gray 6 Ekonomopoulos 4

Safety battle between the two contestants. Since they had both already taken their extension, Ekonomopoulos got into a time critical situation where he had to execute a shot. He missed and Gray was able to run the rack.

Rack 12
Gray 7 Ekonomopoulos 4

No balls down for Gray and a dry break. Ekonomopoulos ran the rack.

Rack 13
Gray 7 Ekonomopoulos 5

No position for Ekonomopoulos after a successful break shot. He fired the 3-ball in over one rail and afterwards pocketed the 4-ball with a jump shot. First break and run for Ekonomopoulos. Tremendous effort!

Rack 14
Gray 7 Ekonomopoulos 6

Good break shot for Gray. He runs the table but falls out of position for the 7-ball. Bad mistake at a crucial stage of the match. He misses the 7-ball and gives the chance to win the rack to Ekonomopoulos. But the Greek missed the 7-ball as well and puts Gray back in to the table. Gray wins the rack and puts himself on the hill.

Rack 15
Gray 8 Ekonomopoulos 6

Ekonomopoulos pockets balls with his break shot but has no shot on the 2-ball. He attempted a safety but left a possible shot for Gray. Gray ran out and won the match with 9:6.

Summary
Mark Gray had the more efficient break shot. He played better safes and has rightfully won the match.

Final standings top eight players:

1. Mark Gray (GBR)
2. Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE)
3. Alexander Kazakis (GRE)
4. Mario He (AUT)
5. Wojciech Szewczyk (POL)
5. Francisco Diaz-Pizarro (ESP)
5. Mieszko Fortunski (POL)
5. Tony Drago (MLT)

The event was hosted by the European Pocket Billiard Federation EPBF and organized by International Billiard Promotion, IBP. For further information, please check the event website at www.eurotouronline.com or contact the EPBF press office at press@epbf.com