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

Myung Woo Cho's run of 32 in 13 minutes

Posted by on February 25, 2018

Myung Woo Cho's run of 32 in 13 minutes

© Kozoom

Ask a dozen top players to name a "future world champion", and there's a good chance you'll hear this name eight or ten times: Myung Woo Cho.

The young Korean (I believe he's nineteen) started to travel to World Cups when he was only 13 years old, under the wing of Kyung Hee Oh, the Korean billiard "mother" who is always a source of comfort and good advice. In the recent seasons, Cho has already built up quite a palmares. Three semifinals: Guri 2016,  Luxor 2017 and La Baule 2017. Not even Dani Sánchez got that far before the age of 20, if memory serves me right. 

Last week, Myung Woo Cho played an unbelievable practice match, where he ran 7-0-1-32, to make 40 in 4. I don't usually pay much attention to practice matches, and runs over 30 have been made by a handful of people, in practice. For those of you who were enthusiastically shouting "world record", I have a bucket of ice water ready. No world record can or will ever be broken in an unrefereed match. So why is this practice match worth all the attention? A) because the numbers are nothing short of sensational. B) because we have it on video.   


Myung Woo Cho and Dani

The mentor and the student

Let me walk you through the shots, in this amazing demonstration of 3-cushion fluency and good decision making. The entire run took less than 13 minutes!

1) It starts off with one of the best points of the run: a S/L/S/L to a single ball, no chance of a 4 rail / 6 rail combination. Cho plays it like Caudron would have: thin contact and lots of running english. This is counter-intuitive, but absolutely the right thing to do. Use more ball, and you'll create two kiss dangers, one where the red kisses the yellow, and one where the red blocks your path to the yellow.

2) Cho prefers the 5 rail to the 3 rail here. I'm not sure why.

3) Fairly easy twice-around.

4) He made this look like a natural, but it was very tricky. 

5) See previous comment.

6) The young man is not afraid of a Jasperian S/L/S, and I think it was the right choice, even if some (very) good players avoid this shot like the plague.  

7) Another textbook Caudron shot: lots of draw, lots of english, moderate speed. 

8) He picks up the easy point, little or no effort made for position.

9) Third L/S/L of this type. I am always a very relieved man when I make them, which is maybe half the time. He looks like he could make these in his sleep. 

10) Would you have hit this much of the 2nd ball? He did it to improve his angle. Takes a bit of practice, and some guts.

11) Unbelievable, how you can make a shot that is SO sensitive look so simple. There's considerable check side english in that cue ball. I don't know many top players who would make this their first choice. But we shouldn't argue with success.

12) Ultra-thin from distance? Not a problem.

13) An anxious moment here, slightly thinner or more speed would have made certain of the point. But he got away with it.

14) Another S/L/S, this time with a little left hand english. Fully committed, no fear. Beautiful.

15) Most of "us" (I apologize if you don't want to be included) would have played this the wrong way. Only when you see his solution do you realize that it's so much better. His third ball is way bigger than the one "we" would have had.

16) Precision hit, the right speed and it just barely reached. 

17) See 4 & 5.

18) A natural, but the kiss was not a mile away. You have to know.

19) He preferred the S/L/S/L to the L/S/L that was also there. Interesting, and so was the speed he used for the four railer.

20) That looked like an unmissable ticky, but he almost overdid it.

21) If you are in trouble, just play a perfect bank shot.

22) Could have made this with less ball and not as much english, but he felt he needed to make the third ball as big as possible, as it was under the rail.

23) Didn't have to do anything here. The point was easy, and position comes naturally. 

24) You need a decision on this one. Get out of the kiss, you first (to the long chance), or get out of it, red first (to the short chance). I was surprised he chose this line.

25) Easy point, easy position. Just make sure you don't leave the 2nd ball under the long rail.

26) Did you see the little body movement? He hit it, and thought he'd missed it long. He's on 26, and he knows it. Pressure is building up.

27) See 4, 5 & 17. 

28) Right side of the red, much better than the same shot (L/S/L) off the left side of the red.

29) A long think (for him). Was it because he knew it was the 29th? Or because the round-the-table off the red had some dangers? He settled for the single-chance three rail, because the same shot over 5 rails might get kissy.

30) Back to his natural speed of decision making.

31) We all would have made that one.

32) And that one. Looking at the video, don't you just love the hug, and the joy? I've heard people say that Myung Woo Cho is like a billiard playing robot who practices 10 hours a day and has no life. I don't think so. He looks like a formidably talented kid to me, one who is madly in love with our game. 


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