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Britain's Neil Raybone beats Dutchman Nick van den Berg in EPT final
 Posted on Monday, October 16 2006 @ 14:58:16 UTCby admin
8 Ball THE 2006 MIDLANDS 8-BALL OPEN
Rileys American Pool & Snooker
Hobs Moat Road
SOLIHULL
Birmingham
West Midlands
B92 8JN
Tel: 0121 742 6068
www.empirepooltour.com
www.rileysltd.com
More photographs now available for purchase at PoolPhotos@Pro9.co.uk
(Limited period only).

Saturday/Sunday 14-15 October 2006


Empire Pool Tour 2006 Midlands Open Champion, Neil Raybone,
keeping Holland's Nick van den Berg in his chair.


EMPIRE POOL TOUR BECOMES MOST PRESTIGIOUS 8-BALL TOUR IN EUROPE

Internationally recognised players like Ronnie O'Sullivan, Tony Drago, Marcus Chamat, Mika Immonen and Nick den Berg have raised the profile and status of the Empire Pool Tour to new heights, and it is now fair to say that it is now the premier 8-ball pool tour in Europe.

With this in mind, it is with great pleasure that we can inform you that in the highest quality field yet, Neil "Razor" Raybone has totally dominated the final of the Empire Pool Tour's 2006 Midlands Open, winning by a massive 10:4 margin over Dutch Pool Superstar, Nick van den Berg.

Click on "Read More..." for the details.


Empire Pool Tour 2006 Midlands Open Champion, Neil Raybone, (left)
receiving his cheque from UKSportsManagement representative Mark Segal


The 22 year old Raybone must have felt right at home with this event virtually on his doorstep, his home club is the Midlands Sports Club, and although he has only recently started playing American 8 ball (because of the IPT), his rise top the top has been meteoric, although perhaps it's only fair to mention his 7 year "apprenticeship" with English pool!

It's a more remarkable affair considering this is already his second EPT final and then, when the Midlands Open draw was announced it definitely looked lop-sided talent wise, and Raybone was in the thick of the far tougher looking half.

There could be no more formidable an opponent than the current European No.1 - Nick van den Berg, making his EPT debut, but this time it was Raybone's day.


EPBF Certified referee Chris Billings watches like a hawk whilst Neil Raybone
plays an awkward shot at the EPT Midlands Open final.


PRO9 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH "THE RAZOR"

Neil Raybone congratulations, you've just won and made amends for your other EPT final.

Yeah, I'm just happy to get over the line really, obviously Nick's a great player but I played well in the final and did myself some justice for a change.

Nick's a big name isn't he? Quite a celebrity in the pool world, what's it like playing him?

Obviously I've heard of him before, he's a great player and he's the number one in Europe, so I was expecting a tough match.

I just took my chances really and kept potting the eight-ball!

Do you ever suffer from nerves at all, you didn't look like it?

Well, I do a bit to be honest with you, it's a big final and there's a lot of people watching, but I just held myself together.

Have you been enjoying yourself on the EPT tour?

Yeah, this is a great tour! I think it's going to get bigger and bigger next year, so I'm looking forward to next year.

Thanks very much and congratulations.

Thank you.


Empire Pool Tour 2006 Midlands Open Champion, Neil Raybone,
running out yet another rack whilst Holland's Nick van den Berg awaits his turn.



Empire Pool Tour players



Winner of the Predator 4K5 pool cue, Panagiotis Koumoundouros,
a keen pool player and Civil Engineer from Kalamata, Greece,
currently running a virtual office whilst studying in the Midlands.



The beautiful Predator 4K5 at The 2006 Midlands 8 Ball Open



Empire Pool Tour player - Paddy McLoughlin



Empire Pool Tour player



Empire Pool Tour player - Andy Esgrove from Croydon



It was great to see snooker legend Patsy Fagan at the Empire Pool Tour



Empire Pool Tour player



Pro9's Online Live Scoring debut at The Empire Pool Tour's Midlands Open



The Last 64 hill-hill thriller between Raj Hundal and Carl Morris witnessed
some outstanding pool and drew an enormous and well deserved
crowd of appreciative onlookers.



Morris, seeded number 3, eventually won against the unseeded Hundal.



The Empire Pool Tour's 2006 Midlands Open - Runner Up, Nick van den Berg



PRO9 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH "EL NINO"

Congratulations on the final, how tough was it?

The final was tough, I didn't make any balls on the break, maybe once or twice I did but I couldn't get out, and he broke really well and he got out every time he got a chance!

Had you heard of him (Raybone) before, because you are the European number one and a big favourite with the odds makers, were you surprised how well he played?

No, I wasn't surprised, I know him, he's an IPT player if I'm right? I didn't underestimate his power, but he played very well.

Do you ever get nervous when you play pool like that?

Only match nerves, we're just having fun and trying to play our best game.

This was your first EPT event, have you enjoyed yourself?

Yeah, it was fun, I played about seven matches so I had a lot of time to play.

I had a tough first match (Matt Hyden) and if I had lost that I wouldn't have had such a good time in this tournament, but I made it to the final and I had fun.

Will you be coming to any more?

If I have spare weekends I hope so.

Thanks very much and congratulations

Thank you.


THE STATS





THE EMPIRE POOL TOUR MIDLANDS 8-BALL OPEN PAYOUT
     1st.      £2,000.00
     2nd.      £1,000.00
     3rd.      £700.00
     4th.      £700.00
     5th.      £400.00
     6th.      £400.00
     7th.      £400.00
     8th.      £400.00
     9th.      £250.00
     10th.      £250.00
     11th.      £250.00
     12th.      £250.00
     13th.      £250.00
     14th.      £250.00
     15th.      £250.00
     16th.      £250.00
     TOTAL                 £8,000.00



THE 91 ENTRANTS

Daryl Peach
Liam McVeigh
Dave McCarthy
Patsy Fagan
Dave Simmonds
Mark Hopgood
Terry Hunt
Mark Stephenson
Anthony Illingworth
Adam Clarke
Andy Barnett
Gareth Esprit
Martin Chapman
David Carter
Rob Jude
Nigel Francis
James Kay
Mikey Keshish
Ben Davies
Steve Turnbull
Les Dodd
Paul Williams
Neil Raybone
Paddy McLoughlin
Mick Hill
Jonny Vaughan
Imran Majid
Andy Nicholson
So Shaw
Steven Capaldi
Pascal Budo
Tony Drago
Jon Davies
Andy Worthington
Andrew Ralph
Simon Gardner
Gavin Oldman
Sam Sherwood
Caroline Walch
Brian Saleh
Andy Esgrove
Tony Gear
Nick Wollerton
Phil Harrison
Darren Appleton
Carl Morris
Raj Hundal
Gary Huston
Brendan Leigh
Tim Singh
Steve Higton
Dean Goddard
Miguel Angel Santos
David Sandford
Jonni Fulcher
Steve Brown
Serge Das
Jason Lawrence
Chris Buckmaster
Brett Armer
Christopher Hoang
Kevin Brown
Karl Boyes
Geoff Edge
Tony David
Ali Ramzi
Shane Appleton
Pat Holtz
Matt Hyden
Nick van den Berg
Craig Riley
Rob Chiltern
Neil Cummins
Kevin Uzzell
Mark Segal
Serkan Osman
Jonathan Mathers
Stefan Fisher
Jayson Shaw
Neil Jenkins
Colin Rennison
Andy Croasdale
Dave Wright
Roger Haddon
Rob McKenna
Lee Rigby
Laurent Travers
Paul Osiecki
Simon D'Vali
Andy Jeronimidis
Mark Gray


PRE-TOURNAMENT ODDS
£5 minimum/£25 maximum
Each way = quarter odds

4/1 Peach
9/2 Van den Berg
5/1 Appleton
6/1 Boyes
11/2 Hill
6/1 Gray
8/1 Morris
9/1 McKenna
9/1 Harrison
10/1 Raybone
10/1 Drago
10/1 Hundal
12/1 Majid
12/1 B Davies
12/1 J Shaw
12/1 Hunt
14/1 Holtz
16/1 Croasdale
16/1 Fulcher
16/1 Kay
18/1 Das
18/1 Higton
20/1 Williams
20/1 Stephenson
20/1 Hyden
20/1 Worthington
20/1 Riley
20/1 Uzzell
22/1 Clarke
22/1 Saleh
22/1 Chiltern
22/1 Barnett
22/1 Esprit
22/1 Cummins
22/1 McLoughlin
22/1 S Appleton
25/1 T Singh
25/1 J Davies
28/1 P Fagan
28/1 L Rigby
28/1 S Brown
33/1 K Brown
33/1 R Jude
33/1 M Chapman

PRE-FINAL ODDS

4/6 Nick van den Berg
11/10 Neil Raybone

The bookies took over £500 before the prices for the final were announced
- and apparently Raybone's outsider win saved them a small fortune.

















THE FINAL : RACK-BY-RACK

Neil Raybone 0 : 0 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 1 : 0 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 2 : 0 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 2 : 1 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 3 : 1 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 4 : 1 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 5 : 1 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 5 : 2 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 6 : 2 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 6 : 3 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 7 : 3 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 7 : 4 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 8 : 4 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 9 : 4 Nick van den Berg
Neil Raybone 10 : 4 Nick van den Berg



Check out the latest rankings at www.empirepooltour.com




The huge crowd around the Last 64 match between Carl Morris and Raj Hundal.
Click the picture to download the large scale photograph. (Large 1Mb download).





 

  8 Ball


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