Italian Open 2015 – 26/02/2015
The first day of the Dynamic Billard Italian Open has come to an end. Most favorites today have made their way more or less smoothly through to the winner’s qualification round.
The number one player of the Euro-Tour rankings, Nick van den Berg (NED), played his first match with Mariusz Skoneczny (POL). What looked like a clear whitewash turned into a thriller. After seven racks, the scoreboard showed 7:0 in favor of van den Berg. Everything seemed to be „as expected“. But then Skoneczny decided not to get slaughtered. He pulled back rack after rack from van den Berg. After 15 racks, he was within one rack with a score of 7:8 in favor of van den Berg. But then the Euro-Tour leader played a very good safety and forced a foul on Skoneczny. Completely exhausted and frustrated, the Polish gave up the rack and the match and allowed van den Berg to claim a 9:7 victory. „It looked quite good in the beginning for me“, stated van den Berg. „But then he had nothing to lose anymore and he went for every shot. And he made them all. I hardly got to the table before the score was suddenly 8:7“, added van den Berg. „Luckily I played a good safety shot whic h in the end brought me the match“. In the next round, van den Berg defeated Steve Leisen (LUX) with 9:4.
Another player who can be counted into the circle of favorites is Niels Feijen (NED). He won his two matches today, 9:3 over Andrej Seroshtan (RUS) and 9:6 over Michal Turkowski (POL).
Newcomer Kevin Becker (GER) made some noise today at the tournament. He won his first round match over Michele Bianchini (ITA) 9:4 and then took down Francisco Diaz-Pizarro (ESP) 9:6. Becker, who is playing his second Euro-Tour only, became third last time here in Treviso in December. „My goal is to get to the top 16 players here“, says Becker. „A tournament with so many players, this would be a great achievement. Anything beyond that would just be great.“
BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet (GER) expectedly advanced to the winner’s qualification round with victories over Georg Hoeberl (AUT) 9:3 and Woytek Trajdos (POL) 9:4.
Though most of the big names in European pool have made their way through the winner’s side so far, it can be seen that several young and new names need to be taken into serious consideration. Maxim Dudanets (RUS) and Tobias Bongers (GER) are definitely players to watch closer in the near future.
The tournament will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET.
12 tables can be watched LIVE throughout the event on www.kozoom.com. The event will be 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, visit our Facebook page or contact the EPBF press office at firstname.lastname@example.org.