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Dutch Masters in crazy billiard town Berlicum

Posted by on January 13, 2020

Dutch Masters in crazy billiard town Berlicum

© Ton Smilde
The top four at the Masters 2019 with Dick Jaspers as the winner

BERLICUM - The best Dutch billiard players are preparing for the traditional highlight of the year in their homeland. The 32nd Masters tournament, from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 January, where the national three cushion title is at stake, will be launched at the Benelux Theater in billiard-crazy Berlicum. Dick Jaspers is chasing for his 20th Masters title in the tournament that is played since 1987. The field counts fifteen men and the women's world champion, Therese Klompenhouwer. The organization, 'Stichting BEN', the match room and the ambiance have built up a resounding name in the last five years. The Masters location in Berlicum has grown up to the 'new Veghel', where the tournament was held 13 times in the past.

The sixteen players are the top of the rankings drawn up after the four Grand Prix tournaments in 2019. For the preliminaries, they are divided into four groups of four players, of which Dick Jaspers, Therese Klompenhouwer, Raimond Burgman and Jean van Erp have the most impressive palmares over years. Jaspers is the absolute top gun with, among other things, four world titles in three cushion, five European titles, six times World Cup ranking winner and winner of 25 World Cup tournaments. Jaspers became Dutch champion 20 times, the tournament was called Masters 19 times.

Harrie van de Ven is the oldest player at the Masters 2020 with 58 years, Volkan Cetin and Raymund Swertz the youngest finalists with 31 years. The last three Masters titles were won by Dick Jaspers, who starts the new year as the number one on the world ranking. The 54-year-old from Brabant won his first national title in January 1990 in Groningen with 1,261 on average and his first Masers title in October 1990 in Dongen with 1,433. Jaspers is record holder average on the Masters with 2.395, when the event was played in sets in Nijverdal.

The Masters were played from 1993 to 2006 in Veghel, where the tournament made its first step to a huge reputation. Harry Mathijssen and Ad Smout brought the Masters after Goes, Nijverdal, Kapelle, Zevenbergen and Kaatsheuvel in 2016 for the first time to Berlicum. There, the stands were filled including Jean van Erp, the Iceman's fan club and the Masters were revived. Ferry van der Veen has been introduced as a speaker and entertainer. The players are presented before each session with music they have chosen themselves and light effects. The referee corps is led by Willem Hofman and Paul Brekelmans, who are regularly invited for international championships and World Cups.

The golden formula has proven its value. Thursday and Friday there is free access for the public. For the Saturday afternoon session 5 euros, Saturday evening 5 euros, final day on Sunday tickets are 12.50. A passe partout is 20 euros. The organization's advice is to arrive on time to not be surprised by a crowded room. The new dimension with direct and recorded TV images has given the Masters even more appeal. On Monday, January 20, Ziggo Sport will broadcast an hour and a half summary of the semi-finals and the final, supplemented with interviews. broadcasts all matches live.

The participants are:
Group A:
Dick Jaspers (July 23, 1965)
Roland Uijtdewillegen (7 July 1970)
Frans van Schaik (November 5, 1964)
Jack Wijnen (August 23, 1962)
Group B:
Jeffrey Jorissen (23 May 1984)
Jean van Erp (December 20, 1973)
John Tijssens (April 16, 1968)
Huub Wilkowski (November 18, 1976)
Group C:
Raimond Burgman (12 May 1964)
Barry van Beers (January 15, 1976)
Raymund Swertz (4 September 1988)
Volkan Cetin (17 February 1988)
Group D:
Dave Christiani (July 18, 1979)
Martien van der Spoel (28 December 1981)
Harrie van de Ven (April 29, 1961)
Therese Klompenhouwer (January 3, 1983).

The preliminaries start on Thursday (January 16) at 13.00, the next sessions are at 15.00, 18.30 and 20.30. The matches for the first day have been planned:

13.00: Jeffrey Jorissen-John Tijssens, Jean van Erp-Huub Wilkowski
15.00: Raimond Burgman, Raymund Swertz, Barry van Beers-Volkan Cetin
18.30: Dave Christiani-Harrie van de Ven, Therese Klompenhouwer-Martien van der Spoel
2030: Dick Jaspers-Frans van Schaik, Roland Uijtdewillegen-Jack Wijnen.
On Friday, the matches are from 1 pm, the last game at 8.30 pm.
On Saturday the last group matches are from 11 a.m., the last sessions are at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Subsequently, the quarter-finals at 19.30 and 21.00.
The semi-finals are on Sunday at 10.30 and 12.30, and the final at 15.00.

Jean van Erp, the Iceman, is the local hero in Berlicum

The ambiance during the Masters with young kids welcoming the players



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