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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Bert's column (NED)

Efler should have won the match

Posted by on January 22, 2018

Efler should have won the match

© Kozoom

A win or a loss, that is often the result of a few decisions, a roll of the ball here and there,  a few minor details. On rare occasions, the difference can even be in a single millimeter. The Jaspers - Efler match was one of those. Efler had a renverse point, his cue ball almost glued to the long rail. He hit it perfectly, he had his three rails, but it missed the third ball on the way in, by a hair, then again by a hair in the second chance: on the way out. The ball drifted a bit, the line of this miss was impossible. You could hear the ohh's and ahh's in the crowd: almost entirely made up of billiard players, and they all knew that point should have made. But the ref could not award it, and Andreas lost the match.  

We're not talking about the 40 in 4, of course. Efler was not really close to match point in that one. The drifting ball and the impossible miss happened in 1997, in the Antalya World Cup. Sánchez played the semi against Blomdahl, Efler the semi against Jaspers.  And the two matches could not be more different. Dani and Torbjörn did nothing but score, score and score some more (2-0 for Dani after sets in 4 and 6 innings, then it was all Torbjörn who ended up winning 3-2). Andreas and Dick could not make a decent run to save their lives, and their match turned into a trench war, with Dick averaging 1.072! Sure, even top players can average 1 from time to time, but for 55 innings? How often have you seen that, in the semi of a World Cup?

Andreas had the lead, 14-13 in the 5th, when that ball drifted. There was nothing he could do. He had hit the right shot, and he had hit it well. Billiards is cruel.  

Twenty years later, they meet again. And a semifinal in a World Cup may be have some weight, but this day was more historic. Jaspers ran 5-11-2-22, to produce the second "Beamon jump" in billiards history, after Merckx and his equally unbelievable 50 in 6 (2011). The "old" world record to 40 points was 40 in 6 innings, held by Caudron (twice), Zanetti, Haeng Jik Kim and Jaspers.  

I've known Dick for 35 years now, and you just run out of superlatives to describe how good he is at what he does. Let me just mention this single aspect today: you can't make 40 in 4 on talent alone. You need to have done a shitload of hard work, and you need tremendous strength of character. He's two for two.  

As some of you may know, the UMB now recognizes 19 different world records in various categories. You can find them all on the UMB website. Some of these records, such a "best tournament average to 60 points", or "high run in the Scotch double format" do not mean much to the average billiard player. But three records stand out for everyone: the shortest matches to 40 and to 50 points, and the high run. The top players now have a mountain to climb, if they want to get their hands on any of those records.  

50 in 6 (2011, Eddy Merckx). Let's assume you make one monster of a run, a 26. Let's say you only miss once, on a starting position. That means you will have to play EIGHT average in the remaining three innings. It's harder than touching your nose with your elbow.  And let's not forget that matches to 50 are almost a thing of the past. The Belgian league, that is where it could happen. Don't hold your breath.

40 in 4 (2018, Dick Jaspers). So to beat it, you need to finish in three innings. Words fail me, I'll just rest my case here. 

A high run of 28 (Komori 1993, Ceulemans 1998, Forthomme 2012, Caudron 2013). Why is it so difficult to make the 29th? Because the player who made the first 25 points is no longer at the table. He was relaxed and confident and intuitive. The guy he has changed into, is thinking about the record. He realizes the enormity of the moment, and every chemical process in his body is now his enemy. Adrenaline shoots through him, his heart beats like a hammer. The guy he is now, can miss ANYTHING.   

We could be stuck with these world records for a while. The 28 will be the first to go, I think. 50 in 5 or 40 in 3, I am not even sure I'll live to see that happen.  And now that I have used the word "see", let me expand on that. We did not see the 40 in 4, and we're not happy about that. I think I am speaking for 25 million 3-cushion fans worldwide, when I say:  the German Bundesliga needs cameras, everywhere.  Come on, Billiardfreunde! You could make us really glücklich.

We've not seen the 50 in 6. We've not seen the 40 in 4. The madness has to end. 


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My Comments

Well described!
Well described, Bert (as usual)! ;-)

Message 1/4 - Publish at January 22, 2018 9:54 AM

kozoom bitte fahren Sie dort jedesmal, Bert hat das Recht.

Message 2/4 - Publish at January 22, 2018 2:57 PM

I do hope some of the fellows watching the match have shot some video!

Message 3/4 - Publish at January 22, 2018 4:18 PM

Even if there were video...
...many might be tempted to say what folks said back in 1969 about the lunar landing - “staged” - Jasper’s feat being so startlingly impressive. Of course, I believe it happened because I know DJ was so capable of this - and because Bert said so!

Message 4/4 - Publish at January 23, 2018 8:00 AM - Edited at January 23, 2018 8:04 AM

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