Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - AGIPI Masters 2012 - Schiltigheim (FRA)
The star players, the new groups and the high runs
© Didier Fioramonti
The auditorium of the Agipi Masters has closed his doors on Sunday night and will open them again for the Masters 2012 in January. Four players who have seeded this week for next round, will return and play against Sung-Won Choi, Frédéric Caudron, Kyung-Roul Kim, Jérémy Bury, Eddy Merckx and Dani Sáchez.
The other four have to wait one month longer for the comeback in Agipi and will play in the groups with Filipos Kasidokostas, Javier Palazón, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Marco Zanetti, Dick Jaspers and Martin Horn.
The format is for the new groups is: (A and B: 27-29 January, C and D 24-26 February)
Pool A: Sung-Won Choi, Frédéric Caudron, Kyung-Roul Kim, Nikos Polychronopoulos, Jef Philipoom.
Pool B: Jeremy Bury, Eddy Merckx, Dani Sanchez, Kim Haeng JIK, Roland Forthomme.
Pool C: Filipos Kasidokostas, Javier Palazón, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Tayfun Tasdemir, Dong-Koong Kang.
Pool D: Marco Zanetti, Dick Jaspers, Martin Horn, CeNET Lutfi, Ryuuji Umeda.
The first round of sixteen players, divided into four groups of four, were dominated by Lütfi Cenet, Nikos Polychronopoulos, Haeng Jik Kim and Dong-Koong Kang. The young Korean world champion Kim finished in his qualifying group (3) as the first with four match points and an average of 1.857. Roland Forthomme was the second.
Jef Philipoom was the winner of Group 2 with four points and 1.300 average before Ryuuji Umeda. Jérôme Barbeillon, who made a promising start in his first matches, had a poor finish and couldn't qualify.
Glenn Hoffman, another upcuoming young talent, also was eliminated, just like the Korean Jung-Han Heo, who last year was one of the stars in the Agipi Masters.
The Turkish Lütfi Cenet, who is only one place away from the top twelve of the world after some very strong performances this year, started impressively in the last two days of the preliminary rounds with a match in nineteen innings and runs of fifteen and eleven. He couldn't keep that high level in Group 4, escaped in his last match against Cédric Melnytschenko, but was seeded almost playfully for the next session.
Second in this group was Nikos Polychronopoulos, who made a flying start on the second day (35-4 in seven innings against Melnytschenko) and reached the finish in twenty innings. The Greek finished even as the best player on average of eight the eight players in the qualification. He played 2.000 over three matches.
Dong-Koong Kang had a great final rust in the Group 1 and showed himself the best in the duel with Jean Christoph Roux. He was the second Korean to qualify after Haeng Jik Kim. Two compatriots were eliminated: Jung Han Heo and Jae Ho Cho, the champion of his country and finalist in the World Cup in Suwon.
The four sessions were marked by runs of 15 and 11 (Cenet), thirteen (Kang), two times 12 (Polychronopoulos), 11 (Forthomme and Soumagne) and 10 (Leppens).
Nikos Polychronopoulos signed up for the highest average (2.000) before Haeng Jik Kim (1.857), Tayfun Tasdemir (1.786), Lütfi Cenet (1.765) and Eddy Leppens, who wasn't qualified (1.619).
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