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Jaspers and Caudron: who is the best of two giants?

Posted by on April 6, 2022

Jaspers and Caudron: who is the best of two giants?

© UMB/PBA/Ton Smilde
Dick Jaspers (left) and Frédéric Caudron (right) after winning the titles in UMB and PBA

They are two almost incomparable giants in the world of three cushion billiards, two seasoned and famous players with an enormous reputation who have already achieved big international successes and have finally chosen to go their own way. Dick Jaspers is the world champion of almost all global billiard players belonging to the UMB, the world federation, where great champions of the past and present, such as Raymond Ceulemans, Torbjörn Blomdahl, Dani Sánchez and also Frédéric Caudron were part of golden generations. Frédéric Caudron, is the 'world champion' of the PBA, a Korean professional organization where players are inspired by big money, but which consists of only a few hundred Asians and a dozen Europeans. They are called gold diggers in traditional circles, but don't prove Belgian Caudron wrong: according to reliable sources, the frontrunner in the just concluded PBA year is not far from 400,000 Euros in earnings.

Dick Jaspers became world champion at the end of last year (2021) in a tournament with Torbjörn Blomdahl, Marco Zanetti, HaengJik Kim, Eddy Merckx, Semih Sayginer, Tayfun Tasdemir and all the world top players of UMB, all with impressive palmares. Frédéric Caudron became the so named world champion of PBA, as it is so pretentiously called in that professional organization, a fortnight ago (March, 2022) in a final knockout with sixteen players, where Dong Koong Kang, David Zapata, David Martinez, Eddy Leppens, Minh Cam Ma and Glenn Hofman were the best known. But none of Caudron's rivals for the title has ever won a World Championship or a World Cup in the UMB in their earlier years.

Dick Jaspers received 20,000 euros for his world title, Frédéric Caudron earned 150,000 euros for his victory in the PBA title tournament. So there, in reward for the most coveted title, is a huge difference, while the sportive awe for Jaspers' world title is much bigger than for Caudron's title in Korea. Dick Jaspers defeated HaengJik Kim, Sameh Sidhom, Martin Horn and Murat Naci Coklu in the race to his victory. For his PBA success, Frédéric Caudron had to pass three relatively unknown Koreans (Im-gwon Kim, Jong-won Kim and Seong-uk Oh) to capture the championship against Spaniard David Zapata.

The World federation has imposed a suspension on players who have a PBA contract and play in PBA tournaments from the start of the break and later permanently. The result is that Caudron, Zapata, Martinez, Leppens, Hofman and other European players are no longer allowed to play in World Cups and other major championships of UMB. Many billiard fans have been pleading for two years now for a repair of the schism, so that the world leading players of three cushion billiards can come together again at some point.

Dick Jaspers (56) and Frédéric Caudron (54) will not meet again on the international billiard tables, as it looks now. They have done that countless times in all disciplines of billiards with varying results. In the summer of 2012, the wealthy Spaniard Juanjo Trilles, a billiard fan, invented a challenge between the two best players in the world: a match over 600 caroms to be absolutely certain that the best would win. Caudron won the prestige battle, which was played at the Trilles estate in Marxuquera near Gandia, by 600-501 (averages 2,190/1,835, highest runs 16/21). Despite the marathon over ten 60-points sessions, it was a kind of snapshot: Caudron had a much better start, was in better form and held the lead of some 100 points until the end.

Ten years later, the numbers speak for themselves (in the discipline of three-cushion):
X Dick Jaspers has won 5 world titles between 2000 and 2021
X Frédéric Caudron became 3 times world champion between 1997 and 2017
X Dick Jaspers became 5 times European champion between 2003 and 2019
X Frédéric Caudron was 2 times European Champion between 2002 and 2006
X Dick Jaspers won 27 World Cups between 1991 and 2022
X Frédéric Caudron won 21 World Cups between 1997 and 2019
X Dick Jaspers was Dutch champion 21 times
X Frédéric Caudron became Belgian champion 9 times
X Dick Jaspers won the World Games 1 time
X Frédéric Caudron won 5 PBA tournaments
X Dick Jaspers has a highest run of 26
X Frédéric Caudron has a highest run of 28 (shared world record)
X Dick Jaspers played a historic match in the German competition: 40-0 in 4 innings against Andreas Efler (5-11-2-22).

Dick Jaspers when he won the world title in 2021 in Sharm El Sheikh

Frédéric Caudron when he was PBA's best in March 2021

The billiards world likes to philosophise and make comparisons about the recent form, averages and results of the two world class players, who perform in a completely different culture. Jaspers in the often stylish, elegant, impeccable billiard arenas of the world federation, Caudron in the wonderful billiard halls where players are the centre of a bombastic decors with glitter and glamour. The Dutch world champion and world number one cherishes tradition, the Belgian PBA champion took up a new challenge more than two years ago and is the figurehead now of the Korean professional federation.

Two eventful years in both their careers have not changed playing style, character, lifestyle, professionalism and technique. Dick Jaspers, who is known as an introvert and amiable person, is the exemplary billiard pro who lives for his sport, driven by an unparalleled fighting spirit and winner's mentality, exemplary in technique, precision, indomitable urge to score, focus and coolness. Frédéric Caudron, charismatic and flamboyant, also has that enormous adoration for his sport, mental strength, a perfect feeling and timing to score on flexibility and intuition, a virtuoso in billiards.

The peaks in averages, for instance when winning the World Championships in three cushion, are good measuring points in both their careers.

X Dick Jaspers won his world titles with a 1,773, 1.907, 1,917, 2,352 and 1,864 average.
X Frédéric Caudron became world champion with 1,538, 1.951 and 2,090 average.

Jaspers and Caudron met in many historic matches, a small selection of them:
X In the Dutch play-offs in 2011: Caudron-Jaspers 50-35 in 11 (4,545/3,182)
X World Cup in Bursa, 2017: Caudron-Jaspers 40-14 in 7
X European Championship club teams, Istanbul 2014: Jaspers-Caudron 40-23 in 10
X New York, 2014: Caudron-Jaspers 40-34 in 12
X European Championships clubs, Porto, 2019: Caudron-Jaspers 40-34 in 13
X Agipi final 2011: Jaspers-Caudron 50-42 in 15

Jaspers' level and performance curve has increased in the last two or three years, Caudron's in terms of average is in PBA numbers a bit less. We have put these figures in a row, calculated over the last three tournaments Jaspers and Caudron have played (and won). That should say something about their current form and level of play.

Dick Jaspers played his last three major tournaments at the World Championship in Sharm El Sheikh and the World Cups in Ankara and Las Vegas. The Dutchman was remarkably stable:
In Sharm El Sheikh 330 in 177 innings
In Ankara 315 in 171
In Las Vegas 320 in 177
That gives a total average of 1,857 over three tournaments, all three won by Jaspers.

Frédéric Caudron competed in his last three PBA tournaments in two season events and one tournament for the PBA title with 32 seeded players. The average is calculated according to the normal counting, without the 2 points that are awarded in PBA tournaments for bankshots.

Caudron was in his first of those three tournaments good for 308 points in 186 innings (1,655).
In the second and penultimate tournament, Caudron scored 360 points in 272 innings (1,323).
In the last tournament, which counts as a WC for the PBA, Caudron scored 229 points in 167: making 1,371.
That gives a total average over three tournaments of 1,435.

The scores and figures are from the Kozoom archive.

Ten years ago when Frédéric Caudron (left) en Dick Jaspers (right) met in the Trilles Challenge in Spain (middle, Juanjo Trilles, the organizer)




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My Comments

Play for the United World Title
Let then play another 600 point match with a Winner take All $50,000 USD.

The last time this match occurred, FC won 600-500!

Message 1/1 - Publish at April 6, 2022 10:55 PM

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