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

We all love the tax man

Posted by on February 11, 2018

We all love the tax man

© Kozoom

Do we? In this special case: yes. The tax man in question passed away in 1901, and left to the world the gift that keeps on giving: the game of 3-cushion billiards. If there is anyone who can be credited with the invention of our sport, it is this Internal Revenue Service employee, born in 1851. His name was Wayman C. McCreery, and he collected taxes for the city of St. Louis in the late decades of the 19th century. An honorable, well respected  gentleman he was, and also a multi-talented one. He excelled in boxing, fencing, golf, wrestling, swimming, but he was much more than just an athlete. McCreery made money in real estate, he wrote music, sang in a choir, he was an intellectual.

And with all that, he will mostly be remembered as the popularizer and (possibly) the inventor of 3-cushion. Yes, my billiard friends from Belgium, Spain, Germany, France: our noble game was invented in the U.S.A. We imported it. Half a century before the first official World Championship was played in Reims (France) in 1928, where Edouard Soussa won with a 0.552 average, McCreery recorded a 3-cushion run of 14 and averaged over 0.700 on several occasions.  




A tournament (and not just any tournament) will be held in the USA this August, and it will be named after McCreery. What a fitting tribute to one of the founding fathers of our sport. 

So what will happen in the summer of 2018? What is so special about this event? The short answer: EVERYTHING. But it's a pleasure to go over this in a little more detail.

- Billiards does NOT have a great track record when it comes to attracting big corporate sponsors. But we have had our share of wealthy private individuals with a fascination for the game. The two most prominent examples are the sponsors behind  the Crystal Kelly tournaments, 1994 - 2011) and the Agipi tournaments, 2008 - 2013. A new patron can now be added to that short list, but he prefers not to be mentioned. He ioves billiards and is especially interested in the logic (or lack thereof) and physics of the game. 

-  The event he created for himself, sanctioned by and in full cooperation with the UMB, will be strictly an invitational. No points for the world ranking list will be at stake, but the prize money will be considerable ($ 608.000, $ 150.000 to the winner). Several players, even some of the very best in the world, could go home with the biggest paycheck of their lives. 

-  The field that was picked by the organizers consists of the nrs. 1 - 6 of the world ranking list on 1 January of the relevant year (Caudron, Merckx, Jaspers, Zanetti, HJ Kim, Blomdahl), the two most recent world champions not already on the list (Sánchez and SW Choi), two players who are personal favorites of the sponsor and have an extraordinary position in the world of 3-cushion: Raymond Ceulemans and Semih Sayginer, and the two best players  from the U.S.A.: Pedro Piedrabuena and Hugo Patino.  

-  Tables (3) will be supplied by Rok Billliards but the tables will be drastically modified. They will be equipped with advanced sensors and powerful officiating tools that enable detailed review of plays in order to produce accurate calls. This is facilitated through the use of exciting new sports data monitoring technology, engineered by ESB Labs, Inc.. The rail sensors and the use of cutting edge cameras will not only provide the viewers with more detail than has ever been available in our sport, it will also help to increase our knowledge of the game's physics at work.  The cloth will be Simonis 300, the balls Super Aramith Pro Cup Prestige.

- The format will principally be Round Robin: all twelve payers will meet in 40-point matches without equalizing inning. The nrs. 1,2,3 and 4 at the conclusion of the RR will then play cross-finals (1-4 and 2-3) and a final, in matches to 50 without equalizing inning.    

In a way, this groundbreaking event is the final step in a process that brings the 3-cushion game full circle: from McCreery to New York, from the 1870's to 2018, from pioneering a sport to showcasing it's world champions, from scribbling musical notes to performing an opera. This event that (touch wood) could even become a recurrent one, will have the eyes of the world, this August. The Verhoeven Open in New York, two weeks earlier, could give us some insight into who's hot, and who is not. The summer of 2018 will make billiards history. 


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My Comments

Rumor has it the this will not be open to the public - streaming only. True? If so, very disappointing. I was planning to fly to NY to see this.

Message 1/3 - Publish at February 12, 2018 12:54 AM

Possible answer for rumor
I understand the Inaugural McCreery Three Cushion Billiards Invitational will be played at a private residence. If so, it would be impractical and unfair to the homeowner to open this to the public. That said, it should be live-streamed at least here on Kozoom and with dailies available on youtube. My two cents. 2018 will truly be historic for our sport.

Let the games begin!

Message 2/3 - Publish at February 19, 2018 4:25 PM

beneath the surface
beneath the surface
3c in 2018
It's certainly starting off as a legendary yr

First With Jasper's 40 in 4 10 average

Now with mwc doing the same, but with a nice big 32 run in there

What's next!!

Message 3/3 - Publish at February 19, 2018 7:00 PM

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