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Carom Billiard - Carom - European Championship - Brandenburg (GER)

Even Frédéric Caudron wants to play 5 pins

Posted by on April 29, 2015

Even Frédéric Caudron wants to play 5 pins

© Harry van Nijlen/kozoom.com
Michelangelo Anielo, the Italian winner of 5 pins in Brandenburg

BRANDENBURG AN DER HAVEL - What do the players in the Brandenburg European championship all disciplines think of the schedule? The tournament has reached the halfway point, Torbjörn Blomdahl is nowhere to be seen anymore, Frédéric Caudron shows up now and then as a spectator after his win in the 1-cushion. The Swede and the Belgian will be back in the arena once the three cushion for national teams starts.

Dani Sánchez said in the early hours of day 6: ,,I've been here for seven days now, and I've played one match. The schedule could be different, the 3-cushion for teams could be earlier in the tournament. I would have liked to play 3-cushion on the small tables in the meanwhile, but that is not allowed for those who are in the nations three cushion tournament.''

So there is no choice but to wait and wait, with the schedule running hot and cold. French Greek Nicolas Gerassimopoulos for instance, had to play four matches on the day of his final in 1-cushion: two in that discipline and two in balkline. ,,He complained t me about being tired'', said Dani Sánchez. ,,I told him about my predicament: one match in seven days. I'd rather be tired than bored for days.''

Many of the carom players think about alternatives these days. Belgians Roland Forthomme and Francis Forton play pin billiards this year, in a team of four. That game is played by 25.000 men and women in Italy, with 150 hours of television on RAI Uno in a year. And here it is dominated by the Italians. The Azzuri are very skilled in that game with 5 pins (four white and one red) in the middle of the table.

Francis Forton: ,,It is mostly about defense, but the Italians also use reverse english well, they are really good at this.'' 5 pin billiards is the odd one out in this tournament, but it does attract spectators and creates atmosphere. In the Stahlpalatz, where the balkline players do their craft in solemn silence, there is sometimes an enormous roar if a 5-pin player is victorious. Once in a while, like after the semifinal, the hot tempered Italians get into an argument and one of the coaches needs to intervene.

Frédéric Caudron seriously considers to take up that game. Peter De Backer, a defensive and tactical mastermind, is certain already. ,,I'll be frank about it: there is money to be made, so why wouldn't we play it? If you say: that is not why I play billiards, you're a liar.'' Torbjörn Blomdahls plays the game already for many years. ,,I was one time world champion in biatlon, the combination of three cushion and 5 pins. And four times I beat the world champion in 5 pins.''

Frédéric Caudron: ,,I won the European title in 1-cushion, that was worth 2000 euro.'' The 5-pin champion, Michelangelo Angiello, was rewarded 3000 euro, the champion in 3-cushion on the small table also wins 3000 euro.

Of the eighteen champions in Brandenburg, only one wins more: the European champion 3-cushion (Blomdahl). The junior players and the women have no prize money at all. The 5-pin tournament will continue tomorrow (Thursday( with the nation matches: naturally with Italy as the title favorite.

The 5 pins podium with four Italian players

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