European Championships, Luxembourg

21st – 30th March 2012

I class this tournament as the biggest pool event of my calendar year as we get to play on professional match tables as well as playing alongside some of the best able-bodied players in the world.  It’s also a very gruelling event as we play out 3 disciplines over 10 days.

This year the championships added the break box to all three disciplines.

First up was the 10 Ball event

I finished at the quarter-final stages in this event, which was quite disappointing as 10 Ball is the game I practice the most.   My match results were as follows:

1st Match against Emil Schranz I won 5 – 0  (Winner Side)

2nd Match against Kurt Deklerck I won 5 -3  (Winners Side)

3rd Match against Henrick Larsson I lost 5 – 4  (Winners Side)

4th Match against Emil Schranz I lost 5 – 4 (Quarter-Finals)

Overall quite disappointed I didn’t medal in this event looking back I feel I didn’t start well enough against lower ranked players and didn’t finish strong enough against top ranked players.  My match against Henrick Larsson was a good game as I played some great pool and took a 4-1 lead however I didn’t really capitalize when presented with a few chances to close the match out.  In my second match against Emil it was a total contrast as I started really poorly and from 4-2 down I pulled it back to hill, hill and but for a long range over draw on the 9 Ball I felt I would have won the match.  Unfortunately I got bad shape on the 10 and missed the shot ending in me losing the match.

2nd event was the 8 Ball

I never really expect too much in this event as I never practice it at home, however I have medaled a few time in this event so my goal was again to get to the medal stages.  My final standing was a Silver medal which looking back was a success for me.

My match results were as follows:

1st Match against Tony Southern I lost 5 – 1 (Winners Side)

2nd Match against Henrik Larsson I won 5 – 4 (Losers Side)

3rd Match against Kurt Deklerk I won 5 – 1 (Losers Side)

4th Match against  Israel Rider I won 5 – 1 (Losers Side)

5th Match against Phil Hendrickson I won 5 – 2 (Losers Side)

6th Match against Tankred Volkmer I won 5 – 2 (Semi Finals)

7th Match against Jouni Tahti I lost 5 – 2 (Final)

Sadly the Final didn’t live up to the standard it promised as the match didn’t really have any flow or rhythm to it.  Obviously Jouni is a world-class player and current world champion, but unfortunately I didn’t feel either of us played our A game in this match.

All in all pleased with a silver in this discipline.

3rd and final event the 9Ball

My goal for these championships was to win at least 1 gold medal so obviously 9 Ball was my final chance to achieve the goals I set out prior to the event.

I did medal in this event, however not the one I’d hoped for as I returned home with a bronze medal.

My match results were as follows:

1st Match against Emil Schranz I won 7 – 1 (Winners Side)

2nd Match against David Himpe I won 7 – 3 (Winners Side)

3rd Match against Kurt Deklerck I won 7 – 3 (Quarter Finals)

4th Match against Danny Luton I lost 7 – 5 (Semi Final)

In summary I achieved the minimum I expect for these games medaling in 2 out 3 disciplines, however I left the championships disappointed with my overall  performance, particularly in the 10 Ball.  The key areas to work on for next year is to become more clinical in my approach and to improve my pre-match and competition routines.