In an all-German clash between two experienced players, BCA Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet defeated Ralph Eckert in a heartbreaker with 9:8.
The match took place in the winner’s round of the men’s division of the Dynamic Billard Portuguese Open Euro-Tour. Souquet had the better odds on his side. He has been active as a player ever since whereas Eckert had taken some detours in his career. His last stop was Singapore for the recent three months where he was employed by the local billiard federation to coach their players and prepare them for the SEA Games. The match took the course as expected in the beginning. Souquet was always ahead but Eckert did not let the gap get too big. However, after 13 racks the score was 8:5 in favor of Souquet and it looked like the deal was sealed. But Eckert struck back and turned the scoreboard to 6:8. Then, Souquet missed a possible 7-ball and allowed Eckert back to the table. Accrete ran out and also ran the next rack which he broke himself. That made the match a hill-hill affair. All of a sudden it was a race to one! Souquet took a time-out, came back and broke and ran the decidin g 17th rack. He showed great nerves and performed with his usual perfection again. „I have made several mistakes in the match“, admitted Souquet, „but Ralph is a great player. We know each other for 40 years or so and it is always a challenge to compete against him, no matter how good in stroke he is“, added Souquet.
Another great match today was the encounter between newly crowned straight pool Champion Nick van den Berg (NED) and Aloysius Yapp (SIN). The player from Singapore is currently the reigning World 9-ball Champion in the junior’s division and is one of Eckert’s pupils. The match was as promising as it can get. But it was determined by several mistakes from both players. They both did not quite get on their A-game and missed more shots than usual. Being 8:6 up, van den Berg executed a jump shot and the cue ball scratched. App got to an open table with ball in hand. It was a „must“ to run this rack. But Yapp totally lost his position on the 6-ball. He attempted a safety shot but completely missed the 6-ball. This brought van den Berg back to the table and he had no problem to run the remaining balls to win the match with 9:6.
In the women’s division, unheralded Veronika Ivanovskaia (GER) defeated Monica Webb (USA) in the winner’s qualification round with 7:4. The same result was good for Simone Kuenzl (GER) to win over Katarzyna Wesolowska (POL). Local hero Vania Franco (POR) won her match with Ana Mazhirina (RUS) surprisingly with 7:6. In the loser’s round, Claudia Kunz (SUI) ended Wesolowska’s hopes for this tournament by ousting her with 7:3. Melanie Suessenguth (GER) won 7:5 over Nataliya Seroshtan (RUS) in the same round.
The tournament will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 local time with matches from loser’s round 1.
24 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