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Souquet snatches title in a dramatic final match
 Posted on Friday, February 11 2011 @ 12:30:16 UTCby admin
EuroTour Diamond Nine - Euro-Tour/ Dynamic French Open
Leader Club Billard 94
8 Rue Christophe Colomb
En Face de Saint-Gobain

10-12 February 2011

Ralf Souquet (GERMANY)
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Souquet goes for the gold!

In a match that could not have been packed with more drama, Ralf Souquet claims the title of the Dynamic France Open Champion 2011 with a 9-8 victory over Nick van den Berg.

Both players are well known for their top class pool. It is not for nothing that both of them have been teammates at the Mosconi Cup Team Europe, the team that won the title two months ago.

Nick had the better start and managed to get a two game lead over the German. Whatever Ralf tried, Nick had the answer for it. Van den Berg was ahead 4-2 when Souquet accomplished to equal the score to 4-4. Both players played with fewer mistakes than they did in their respective semifinal matches. After that, Nick again sneaked away with two racks leading 6-4. Trying to repeat the story, Ralf got back to 5-6 but then Nick played an epic push out that Ralf handed back. Everybody was wondering what Nick had in mind since there was a long straight shot at the 2-ball with no angle and no chance at all for position for the 3-ball. But the Dutchman proves everybody wrong. He pocketed the 2-ball and played a great safe on the 3-ball, forcing Ralf Souquet to commit a foul. Then Nick ran out, claiming a 7-5 lead over Souquet.

As the match went on, Nick won another rack to get on the hill 8-5 with Souquet to break next. Suddenly the situation changed dramatically and things went against Nick and for Ralf. Souquet broke and had a ball pocketed with a nice layout for him. 8-6.

Then Nick scratched on his next break, leaving Ralf anther nice layout with ball in hand. 8-7. Finally, another break and run from Ralf to tie the score at 8-8! What a drama unfolded.

"Read More..." for the details.

At the score of 8-8, Nick broke, pocketed a ball but had no shot on the 1-ball. He played another one of these push-outs, handing over the pressure to Ralf. After giving the situation very much consideration, Souquet decided to hand the shot (and the pressure) back to Nick. Van den Berg went for a very thin 1-ball and missed it, leaving almost the same shot for Souquet. Ralf in turn went for that shot, made it and ran out the rack to win the tournament.

When the final 9-ball fell in the pocket, the audience could witness an emotional Ralf Souquet screaming out his gladness. It was also very remarkable to see that Nick van den Berg took Ralf’s hand like a boxer and lifted it up to demonstrate he is accepting his loss.

Ralf Souquet received his trophy through the hands of the owner of Leader Club Billard, Serge Neto.

Saturday, February 12, 2011: - Van den Berg wins Semi-Final in dramatic finish!

Nick van den Berg (NETHERLANDS)
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Nick van den Berg sneaks into the final with a 9-8 victory over Kristoffer Mindreboe

In a breathtaking finish Nick van den Berg sneaked into the final match of the Dynamic France Open 2011 by defeating Kristoffer Mindreboe with 9-8.

The match was relatively balanced. Both players played well and not so well and the quality went up and down. No wonder the scoreboard could be found at 8-8 in the end!

That one final game could not have been more dramatic. Kristoffer Mindreboe broke the balls and did not pocket any but also did not leave a shot for his opponent. Nick decided to play safe but did not play a good one. Suddenly the balls were all open and the Norwegian came to the table with all balls nicely spread out on the table for him, showing no real problems.

Everyone thought he would run out that rack and he looked like the certain winner of that match. Surprisingly, he pocketed the 1-ball but snookered himself behind the 8-ball, forcing him to try and play a kick-shot into the 2-ball. He did that and Nick answered with another safety shot. Mindreboe played a foul and suddenly all odds were in favour of van den Berg. Having ball in hand, the Dutch player had a tough layout on the table in front of him. The 5-ball was the problem. He could not find a solution for it and played another safe on the 5-ball. Mindreboe tried to pocket the 5-ball over the rail but missed. Again, the balls were all open for Nick. Following the drama of that rack, Nick did not make the balls. He missed a relatively easy 6-ball and got lucky with what he left for Kristoffer. Mindreboe aggressively tried to bank again, and again failed. Now Nick van den Berg got all his nerves together and ran the rack to win the second semifinal with 9-8.

When being asked whether he expected the match to be that close, Nick replied “I did not believe I could win since I did not feel well when I was practicing for the match. I’m happy he also made mistakes and that the luckier end was on my side.”

The final match will be played between Ralf Souquet (GER) and Nick van den Berg (NED).

Ralf Souquet (GERMANY)

German Ralf Souquet defeats Netherland's Niels Feijen in high class 9-7 match

In an exciting match, Ralf Souquet outplays Niels Feijen and wins 9-7. He is the first player to reach the final match.

The semifinal started out relatively positive for Souquet. He showed a solid performance and took an early 4-1 lead. Then a few mistakes crept into his game. Feijen, a top player himself, accepted the invitation and tied the match at 4-4. “It was not my best and not my worst match here”, said Souquet modestly. “We have both made mistakes.” “I think my break was a bit better today than Niels’”.

In fact, Feijen managed to take a 5-4 lead but that was the only lead for him in the entire match. Souquet came back to 5-5 when Feijen committed an unnecessary foul. Souquet penalized him for that and turned the scoreboard to 8-5 in his favour. When Ralf was on the hill, Niels managed to get back and lessened that gap to 7-8. “Niels is like me in that aspect”, Souquet said. “He is a dangerous player and never gives up.

You should never feel assure that you have beaten him before you have reached the final line”.

When Feijen broke the rack at 7-8, he did not pocket any ball and left an open table with all balls nicely spread out for Ralf, giving him an easy shot at the 1-ball. Ralf Souquet accepted the invitation and won the match 9-7.

Saturday, February 12, 2011: - Final Four players determined in France!

Kristoffer Mindreboe (NORWAY)
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Souquet against Feijen while Mindreboe meets van den Berg

The tournament is now down to 4 players. Probably the biggest surprise in that elite circle is 18-year old Kristoffer Mindreboe from Norway. The youngster eliminated Scott Higgins from England in the quarter final with 9-2. “I had the better break, but I also was lucky” says Mindreboe with a smile. He seems to be on cloud nr. 7. “I have only missed 1 ball in the whole match. That’s quite good.” The youngster has no favorite player he would want to meet in the semifinal. “I have to beat anyone If I want to win the tournament”, the ambitious young man says.

Niels Feijen (NETHERLANDS)

One man who probably does not want that to happen is Niels Feijen from The Netherlands. He defeated Manuel Gama (POR) with a clear 9-3. “I have played Gama in stage 1 of the event and I lost to him. Now it was up to me to take revenge for that.” “I played strong and stayed focused. I’m happy to be back at my A-game. I had some hard time after the birth of our daughter and I could not concentrate on my game as I would have wanted to”, states the Dutchman. He has won the Dynamic France Open in 2009 and 2010 and could “three”-peat that now.
Ralf Souquet from Germany destroyed the dreams of Norwegian Mattey Ullah with 9-7. The rock solid German will face Feijen in the semis.

The fourth semifinalist is Nick van den Berg (NED). He defeated Konstantin Stepanov from Russia on the feature table with 9-6.

Saturday, February 12, 2011: - Dynamic French Open down to 8 players!

Nick van den Berg (NETHERLANDS) and Jayson Shaw (SCOTLAND)
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Nr. 1 ranked player Karl Boyes out of competition!

The tension was so present in the early morning in Leader Club Billard; one could almost physically feel the player’s presence. 16 top pool billiard players, each one with his own bag full of dreams of capturing the first title in the Euro-Tour in 2011 were warming up for their matches.

One very interesting pairing was the match between Dutch player Nick van den Berg and Scotsman Jayson Shaw. Van den Berg turned out to be the winner with a 9-8 win. The match was of high quality from the very beginning. Both players were really focused and no errors were made. The score sheet confirms this since no player way able to get away with more than one game from the other during the whole match. “I knew before that Jayson would be a strong opponent” van den Berg said. “He comes from the English Pool scene. He is very young and ambitious and I was lucky to win in the end”. This is very true since Shaw was breaking at 8-8. He pocketed 4 balls and had all balls spread out in an easy layout with the 2-ball as the starting ball right in front of the cue ball. He pocketed ball after ball and found himself with a little awkward position on the 9-ball. Shaw: “I should have taken more time for that 9-ball but I always play very fast. This is my game. I pocket this ball 99 times out of one hundred.” This time though, he missed it and left Nick the shot to win the match and get to the quarter finals. After the match, Shaw was surprisingly relaxed. “I try not to take the bad things with me but only the good things. I finished in the top 16 players here at one of my first Euro-Tour events. That’s not bad.”

Very true and very down-to-earth statement from the young Scotsman. Van den Berg now will become Nr. 1 ranked in the overall Euro-Tour rankings no matter when he loses since the current Nr. 1 Karl Boyes lost in his match. “If I had not lost in Spain in the quarter final, I would have won last year’s Tour. I’m happy to become Nr. 1 now”, comments van den Berg.

Matey Ullah (NORWAY)

Karl Boyes is not so happy right now. He lost in the last 16 against Norway’s underdog Mattey Ullah with 5-9. Ullah had a comfortable lead of 5-0 and 7-2 before Boyes got some momentum. But it was too late. The break shot did not work for the British player. “I think my break made the difference today” states a very happy Ullah after the match. “The balls just went in my favor while Karl hardly got any shots.” “This is my fourth Euro-Tour appearance and I am tremendously happy. No matter what will happen from now on, I have already achieved more than I ever expected”, Ullah says. He will play the Tour constantly from now on.

Friday, February 11, 2011: - 16 Players left in Dynamic French Open

Radoslaw Babica (POLAND)
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Who will draw first blood in 2011 by snatching the title here in Paris?

The first round in stage 2 of the event is over and half of the 32 best players here were eliminated. Only three out of the nine Top Ten ranked Euro-Tour players who attended the tournament are still hoping for the title here in Leader Club Billard in Paris. Among the 16 winners is Radoslaw Babica from Poland. He defeated the Spaniard Juan Carlos Exposito considerably clear with 9-3. “I was lucky in that match” was the surprising statement from Poland’s top class pool player when being asked about the match. “Juan made two easy mistakes in the beginning and had no luck at all after that. He really struggled. It was enough for me to run two racks only from the 1-ball to the 9-ball. The rest of the match, I took advantage of his mistakes.” Babica does not have too much confidence in his own game at the moment. “This is the case since quite some time now. I only get to play about 60% of my ability right now.”

Stephan Cohen (FRANCE)

France’s last hope Stephan Cohen also managed to sneak in the field of the final 16 players by eliminating Germany’s Dominic Jentsch with 9-8. He still holds the French flag high in the Dynamic France Open. The match started out with both players being a bit nervous. At 3-3, they both got into their game and did not make any mistakes until the score was 7-7.

There, Jentsch had a lucky shot and went on the hill with 8-7. But Lady Luck was very fair in this match, giving a fluke shot back to Cohen to tie the match hill-hill 8-8. “The crowd was of good help for me. When you play well, they can make you play even better. But when you play not good they can put quite some pressure on you”, Cohen says. At 8-8, Jentsch broke the balls but could not make any on his break shot. Some safety shots followed with Cohen starting to pocket balls. He missed the 6-ball but left a tough shot for Jentsch. The German in turn also missed the 6-ball and Cohen cleared the table and made his way to the Final 16.

Friday, February 11, 2011: - Oliver Ortmann out of tournament!

Oliver Ortmann (GERMANY)
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Former World & multi European Champion eliminated by 13-year old young gun

Day Two of the Dynamic France Open 2011, presented by Leader Club Billard, started with a big surprise. Germany’s Oliver Ortmann, one of the long time European superstars in the pool scene and winner of large international tournaments, was sent home today by a 13-year old talent who has his first Euro-Tour appearance.

Joshua Filler is also from Germany. Watching him play the match against one of the toughest draws he could face in the whole tournament was purely amazing. He seemed to be bursting with self-confidence. No proof of nervousness or fear for his opponent. “I was a bit scared in the beginning. Once I took the lead in the match, that was gone and I purely concentrated on what I was doing on the table” says Filler. And that was definitely nothing to sneeze at! He played rock solid, hardly missing any shots. When he missed though, he was lucky and left no position to Ortmann who himself also showed a good performance. “This match can be viewed from several sides. On one hand it is obvious that Joshua is a big talent and he played a great match against me. From my point of view though, I only missed two shots in the whole match. I was very unlucky in the positions I received on the table from Joshua.” “When this happens to you, it does not matter if you play a man, woman or a young boy. It just annoys you!” Ortmann states.

Young talent Joshua Filler

Filler admits that luck was a major factor for his success in this match. When the score was 7-4 in his favor, he seemed to play a bit negligent. “That always happens to me. Once I am in the lead I start to play a bit too careless” Filler agrees. But with a bit of luck he did not often leave a shot for Ortmann. When he did leave position, Ortmann showed his class and ran the table.

But at 6-7 for Filler, Joshua played two lucky shots in a row which forced Ortmann to commit a foul. Filler ran out and in the final rack – again – was lucky in his position, forcing Ortmann to kick the 1-ball in over the rail. He succeeded in potting the 1-ball but the cue ball scratched. Filler did not show any sign of fear or nervousness and cleared the table, sending Ortmann home. “I think he can become a great player one day”, Ortmann says about his opponent in a very sportsmanlike manner.

Friday, February 11, 2011: - More players advance at Dynamic French Open

Dutch top pool player Niels Feijen among the winners

Niels Feijen from the Netherlands, also known as “The Terminator”, advances in to the next round on the winner’s bracket with a clear victory over Germany’s Jakob Belka with 9-4.

Both players had an equally good start in the match and didn’t miss a ball each until the score was tied at 2-2. “The match then started from offensive to defensive play” said Feijen.

Belka made two mistakes in two consecutive racks which put him on the road into the loser’s bracket. However, trailing 2-6 to Feijen, he somehow gained momentum again and got closer to the Dutchman to a 4-6 score. Feijen, who had played without any errors so far in that match, suddenly started making some unexpected mistakes. But somehow Belka could not benefit from his opponent’s mistakes. “After the terrible mistakes I have made earlier in the match, I was completely lacking my self-confidence. I did not believe in myself at the time which made me commit these additional errors” said the young German. At 4-6, Belka had the chance to close in on Fejen but a bad mistake on the 5-ball was the beginning of the end for him. Feijen cleared up the table and finally managed to win over Belka. “I think Jakob’s mistake at 4-6 was the turning point for him”, Feijen agreed after the match in an interview. The final score was 9-4 in favor of “The Terminator”.

All photographs © EPBF - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

One of the best woman players in the event was local Laetizia Dos Santos. She gave her opponent Florian Stier from Germany a hard time, but in the end ran out of luck. After being 6-8 down, Laetizia ran some very difficult balls in order to tighten the score at 7-8. Unfortunately for her, Florian then took the cue ball and broke the 9 in order to win the match 9-7 and eliminate Laetizia from the tournament.

Thursday, February 10, 2011: - Seeded players start stirring up the field

Tot (left) and a very disappointed Souquet shake hands after their match
All photographs © EPBF - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

German former World Champion Ralf Souquet falls to Serbia’s Sandor Tot

The first sensation has occurred to this year’s Dynamic France Open. Germany’s Ralf Souquet has lost dramatically clear to Sandor Tot from Novi Sad, Serbia with 4-9 in his first round match. The beginning looked like it would be business as usual for the German. He went up 2-0 when he misses a supposedly easy 3-ball and gives his opponent the chance to get to the table. “It just isn’t me”, says the likeable player from Manching, Germany, when asked about the reasons for his clear loss. “I have some health problems with my shoulder since last November, but that does not excuse the easy mistakes I make. I have no idea what goes wrong with my game at the moment. I started out well before I missed that easy shot in the third rack. From then on, I made more mistakes and things went for Sandor.” The match was loaded with tactical safety play from both players. “I love to play the game that way. In the end, my safety shots turned out to be better than Ralf’s.” Asked about his opponent’s easy mistakes, he says: “I also have no explanation for that. Ralf is normally known as a rock solid player.” At the score of 4-8 with Souquet at the table, he misses another easy shot on the 8-ball, leaving his opponent two balls to pocket for the victory.

Euro-Tour No.1 Karl Boyes from England just made it through his first match.

Karl Boyes from England turned out to be more lucky in his first round appearance here in Leader Club Billard today. He had to play Portuguese Bruno Sousa. “I scratched in the second rack and I did not have many more chances from then on until the score was 1-5 respectively 4-7 against me.”, Boyes says. “At the score of 4-7, I potted a 3-ball and drew the cue ball back into the 8-ball in order to open up the pack. That was a critical shot and I knew if I fail now, I will be 4-8 down which means my opponent is “on the hill”, having only one more game to go.

That would have probably destroyed me there; but I perfectly made that shot. This gave me good confidence for the rest of the match.” When asked about the match, Sousa says with a smile: “I played him two years ago and I then also lost 8-9 against him. I knew before he is a top player. When I was leading 7-4 today, I took a wrong decision. Instead of playing open and offensive, I chose to play defensively and played safety. I should have tried to run out the rack which would have brought me to the hill.” “At 8-8, I missed the key shot and I left an open table for Karl. That was it for me in this match.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011: - More favourite players fall

Bruno Muratore obviously does not understand his own performance,
All photographs © EPBF - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

The next victim of an unseeded player is nr. 17 ranked Bruno Muratore

He did not really get going at all. Bruno Muratore from Italy lost with a 9-8 margin to England’s Jayson Shaw. Muratore, a well-known face at plenty international events for many years now, faced England’s Jayson Shaw in his first match. The Italian is currently ranked nr. 17 on the Euro-Tour rankings and is on paper definitely the favorite for this match. But, as often in sports, reality not always follows the statistics.

The match started being tight between the two players, before Shaw managed to get an 8-4 lead on Muratore. Having this comfortable lead, the young British player started to become a bit careless by missing relatively easy shots. The commentator on the EPBF livestream table, Marco Takis: “I expected Shaw to play fast as he always does. By keeping the pace that high, he committed unnecessary errors. Amazingly, Bruno was not able to benefit from that.” Even Muratore sees his performance today very critical. “I am not in a good condition at this point in time. I am performing maybe 30% of my abilities. Today I was down 4-8 and only got back to 8-8 because I managed to pocket two nine-balls on the break. My performance is not good right now and today, Jayson was the better player.” “I will be coming back during this event I hope since some of my internal problems have resolved and I can concentrate and focus on my game from now on a lot better.” Jayson Shaw is currently only ranked nr. 120 on the Euro-Tour rankings but he also only has two events in the count. Being part of that dominant “British Force” that holds five spots out of the Top Ten ranked players, we can be sure to hear in the future from Shaw. “It would be interesting to see how the match would have evolved if Bruno would have played his regular level”, Marco Takis stated after the match. Maybe we will get the chance to see that matchup again soon…

The other matches brought no real surprises. Most of the seeded players made their way through to the next round.


RankPointsPrize-money (Euros)
Total Prize


Karl Boyes v Joakim Haugen 9-7
Mattey Ullah v Raj Hundal 9-7
Thomas Engert v Ralf Souquet 2-9
David Alcaide v Mario He 9-7
Manuel Gama v Joshua Filler 9-3
Mateusz Sniegocki v Serge Das 4-9
Artem Koshovyi v Imran Majid 9-5
Niels Feijen v Daryl Peach 9-7
Kristoffer Mindreboe v Valery Kuloyants 9-2
Chris Melling v Carlo Dalmatin 8-9
Radoslaw Babica v Juan Carlos Exposito 9-3
Scott Higgins v Mark Gray 9-6
Dominic Jentsch v Stephan Cohen 8-9
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro v Konstantin Stepanov 8-9
Jayson Shaw v Markus Buck 9-4
Vegar Kristiansen v Nick van den Berg 3-9

Karl Boyes v Mattey Ullah 5-9
Ralf Souquet v David Alcaide 9-8
Manuel Gama v Serge Das 9-5
Artem Koshovyi v Niels Feijen 3-9
Kristoffer Mindreboe v Carlo Dalmatin 9-5
Radoslaw Babica v Scott Higgins 3-9
Stephan Cohen v Konstantin Stepanov 8-9
Jayson Shaw v Nick van den Berg 8-9

Mattey Ullah v Ralf Souquet 7-9
Manuel Gama v Niels Feijen 3-9
Kristoffer Mindreboe v Scott Higgins 9-2
Konstantin Stepanov v Nick van den Berg 6-9

Ralf Souquet v Niels Feijen 9-7
Kristoffer Mindreboe v Nick van den Berg 8-9

Ralf Souquet v Nick van den Berg 9-8

1. Nick van den Berg (NED)
2. Karl Boyes (ENG)
3. Chris Melling (ENG)
4. Daryl Peach (ENG)
5. Ralf Souquet (GER)
6. Sascha Tege (GER)
7. Darren Appleton (ENG)
8. David Alcaide (SPA)
9. Stephan Cohen (FRANCE)
10. Mark Gray (ENG)

Karl Boyes (ENGLAND) receives golden nine ball from IBPF President David Morris
All photographs © EPBF/Anamaria Matesic - & used by Pro9 with express permission.

Last year’s Tour winner honoured in Paris

Right after the final match here in Paris was over, the winner of last year’s Euro-Tour overall ranking was honoured. The presentation was done by International Billiard Promotion’s President, David Morris. Boyes lead the rankings by 50 points over van den Berg and played in three out of seven final matches, winning one of them.

The trophy is a golden nine ball with 58 small diamonds on it.

Congratulations to all the players who made the trip to France, from everyone at Pro9!!!

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I didn't think anyone read this bit down here!!!

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