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Bright future is coming up for 3-cushion

Posted by on February 20, 2018

Bright future is coming up for 3-cushion

© Kozoom
Kozoom-founder Xavier Carrer, at the start of a new area in billiards

PARIS - One week after the official announcement of the impressive McCreery Champion of Champions tournament, Kozoom International comes up with new events that will enrich the UMB calendar this year: the Ceulemans Cup and an innovative World Masters series. ,,Our agreement with the UMB is not only based on media and marketing rights of World Cups and World Championships'', explains Kozoom founder and ceo Xavier Carrer. ,,It includes the right to promote new professional events. Our common strategy with the UMB is to improve the traditional events and create new opportunities of development for players and fans as private promoter."

Xavier Carrer, on the way to the World championships in Viersen with his team, speaks in a copious interview about innovations, the run-up to the new developments, hand-in-hand with the UMB, the calendar, Kozoom's role in the organizations and the huge promotion of billiards for the future.

Xavier Carrer: ,,The Ceulemans Cup will be a match between the eight best European players and the top eight from Asia of the World ranking. The tournament is inspired by other famous events like the Ryder Cup (golf) and the Mosconi Cup (pool). The Ceulemans Cup was initially named the Continental Cup, but it sounds much better with the name of our legendary 35-time world champion, doesn't it? A special thanks to Willem La Riviere, Director of the KNBB, who suggested this idea, and of course to the Legend himself for his support.''

The tournament will be a 3-day race: the team that scores 600 points wins the competition. There will be 24 stages of 25 points. Each successful carom scores 1 point for the team. The Ceulemans Cup will be played on one match table, all the action will be televised. Every player will play to reach the number of points of his stage (25pts>50pts>75pts>100pts>125pts until 600 pts). As soon as the number of points of one stage is reached by one player, the two next players come to the table to play the next stage. The player from the leading team will continue playing the position left by his previous team mate.

Xavier Carrer: ,,Our first plan was to mix singles and doubles with a final race game. This format is much simpler, manageable for tv broadcasting and one player in good form can make the come back for his team. That would be a perfect scenario for the Show."     

The team composition according to the last edition of the World Ranking in 2017:

For Europe (CEB): Frédéric Caudron (BEL), Eddy Merckx (BEL), Dick Jaspers (NED), Marco Zanetti (ITA), Torbjörn Blomdahl (SWE), Dani Sánchez (SPA), Murat Naci Coklu (TUR) and Jérémy Bury (FRA)

For Asia (ACBC): Haeng-Jik Kim (KOR), Nguyen Quoc Nguyen (VIE), Sung-Won Choi (KOR), Jung Han Heo (KOR), Jae-Ho Cho (KOR), Quyet Chien Tran (VIE), Minh Cam Ma (VIE), Dong Koong Kang (KOR)

The total prize money will be 160.000 dollars, paid as follows: $ 15,000 per player of the winning team, $ 5,000 per player of the losing team. Travel and hotel expenses will be carried by Kozoom. The first edition will take place in Bordeaux (FRA) next december. The new dress code is: black pants and black shoes, polo shirts provided by Kozoom. Blue color: Europe. White color: Asia.

According to its recent agreement with the UMB, Kozoom will also launch a new Masters Series with almost 3 stops in 2018. These events will be played with new game rules: ,,The 3-Cushion Challenge" or ,,3CC". It's a revolutionary concept, as the matches will not be played by sets or races to 40 pts. The matches will be played in 20 innings. Both players will play the same 20 positions: the break shot and 19 positions selected by a computer draw before the match. Each player will score as many points as he can from each position of the balls. The referee will place the balls using a laser replacement system (MyWebSport technology).

As for traditional matches, there will be a lag to determine which player will start playing. To avoid giving too much advantage to one player, the match will be played as follow:
Inning 1-10: Player A plays first
Break of 5 minutes
Inning 11-20: Player B plays first

Xavier Carrer: ,,There are many good reasons to create such new rules. First of all, we consider the World Cups, the World Championship, the new Champion of Champions as the biggest UMB events in 3-Cushion. It would not make sense to create a kind of competitive conflict between our new Masters Series and the existing UMB events. Unity is our philosophy. Secondly, we are already providing over 300 hours of TV programs with games race to 40pts to our Korean partner, the TV Channel MBC Sports. When we discussed about this project of new Masters series with them, their main request was to innovate, to create something different. The 3-Cushion challenge is very different but, even if it removes the safety strategy, this does not kill the essence of the game. Still each position of the balls is a problem you have to solve as well as you can to make the next one easier. A 3-Cushion Challenge match may depend on skill and effort rather than luck. The runs will never be stopped. It will be very exciting for billiards fans, I believe."

There will be 24 players selected to play the 3CC Masters: 20 from the World Ranking and 4 wildcards. They are divided in eight groups of three players. Two players will be qualified per group to play the final stage: a knock-out bracket from the last 16 to the final. These 4-day events will be played on 2 tables until the semi-final. The total Prize money for each event will be $215,000 distributed as below:
Loser qualification: $4,000 x 8 = $32,000
Last 16 loser: $6000 x 8 = $48,000
Last 8 loser: $10,000 x 4 = $40,000
Semi finalists: $15,000 x 2 = $30,000
Runner up: $20,000
Winner: $40,000
Best run: $5,000

Carrer: ,,Our goal is to launch three stops this year. We are currently discussing with local organizers in Korea and Europe. It's too early to give details about locations but it will come soon. For now, dates are reserved on the UMB calendar and we will update them in the following weeks." 

Giving more exposure to billiards outside Korea and finding new sponsors to ensure the long-term growth of this project, the main challenges of Kozoom and UMB are: ,,The Prize-money of the World Cups and World Championships will be doubled this year and every local organizer will get substantial subsidies from the UMB to improve their organizations. This is mainly due to the financial support of the UMB by Kozoom. We are investing as never before to promote the sport and new sponsors or partners are welcome to take part in the project."

,,Of course, we know there are rumored projects coming from Korea to launch new events. It would make more sense for them to work with us than trying to disturb players in our back with promises of a great future outside the UMB. We all should learn from the past and remember what happened in the 90's between the BWA and the UMB. Division is killing the sport. Players must stay united behind the UMB. Recent announcements about the prize money, the Champion of Champions and new 3CC Masters are showing the way to develop the professional side of the sport together with the UMB, without disturbing federation and confederation activities. If the World Ranking is the basis of selection for all professional events, amateur and professional players can still live together and every young player can believe in their dream and have a clear target to become the next Blomdahl. Not seeing professional players involved in their national or continental championships anymore, would be a shame. We will never be apart of that, because we will never consider players to be our employees or, even worse, our property."

Xavier Carrer, with a look back to the past: ,,We should all remember the situation of the sport ten years ago: there was no camera around billiards in many World Cups. No exposure at all or some local tv's involved. Only one event per year was well broadcasted in Korea: the Korean World Cup. During this period, it was not easy to convince Korean tv channels to broadcast 3-Cushion matches. We started providing some matches of AGIPI Masters to tv Channels, for free. This was the only way to convince them to broadcast international competitions with a decent production. In 2017, 1450 hours of UMB matches have been broadcasted on MBC Sports+, the first sport network in Korea. It means an average of 4 hours of 3-cushion every day! This includes of course live, taped and rerun of matches, but this is not including many more hours broadcasted on other smaller channels like Billiards tv.''

,,I don't pretend, of course, that people should thank Kozoom for the development of the 3-cushion in Korea. If there are more billiards clubs than drugstores in Korea, it's because of many social reasons that we even cannot explain. I just say that Kozoom did its part of the job. Many companies in the billiards industry are taking advantages of the efforts made by Kozoom to promote the professional side of the sport. That's why we should all respect the work done by my Korean partner William Oh the last ten years. He succeeded in signing the biggest broadcasting contract ever in Carom billiards history, last year. This was a big step for the promotion of the sport.''

Xavier Carrer: ,,I'm pretty sad when Korean people in the billiards industry consider William Oh as a competitor, because his company is succesfully distributing Gabriels billiards and Molinari cues. I feel sad because they should not forget that this guy is first of all a big promoter of the sport. We both have a common goal in life: making 3-cushion bigger.''

Kozoom-partner William Oh, a very good player himself

The wonderful billiard arena in Bordeaux during the world championships organized by Kozoom


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My Comments

Torsten Danielsson
Torsten Danielsson
BRAVO - UMB and Kozoom! 2017 and 2018 will be remembered as the years of innovation and progress for our sport. Who had thought this just a few years back? Congratulations and keep up the good work....

Message 1/3 - Publish at February 20, 2018 7:41 PM

About time for duplicate billiards
du·pli·cate bridge
a competitive form of bridge in which the same hands are played successively by different partnerships.

Now we can finally see how different great players solve, or attempt to solve, the same shots.

Message 2/3 - Publish at February 21, 2018 3:02 AM

Rules of World Cup
Hello!!!!! One suggestion from me.... I think the rules of World Cup must change too... It's so unfair that players who start in pre qualifications if they loose one game to get out at once!!!! It's so "UNFAIR" Never the less... Evrything seems to be fine from now on in 3C.B. Bravo !!!!!

Message 3/3 - Publish at February 28, 2018 11:05 AM

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