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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Jumbo Masters - Berlicum (NED)

Masters of sensations and outsiders

Posted by on April 28, 2021

Masters of sensations and outsiders

© Ton Smilde
Joey de Kok, the Dutch talent playing his first Masters, put the champion Dick Jaspers under pressure

BERLICUM - The closing gala of the Jumbo Masters 2021 was almost doomed to a final day of sensations and outsiders. The Dutch record holder and defending champion Dick Jaspers was under huge pressure when he faced young Zeeland lion Joey de Kok. The routined Barry van Beers, last year's finalist, was swept from the match table by the almost unknown newcomer Ludo Kools. In the Beneluxtheater in Berlicum, unfortunately with empty stands, sensation was in the air. The survivors of the quarter-finals were Dick Jaspers, Raimond Burgman, Jean van Erp and... Ludo Kools. ''We are still alive'', Jean van Erp jubilated with clenched fists. Dick Jaspers, after his thriller and 3-2 win, sighed for the Ziggo Sport cameras: ''I was very bad in the starting sets, but luckily I could turn things around in the match.'' Raimond Burgman beamed that he played the best match of the first knock-out day. ''And now things are getting serious.'' Ludo Kools, the dark horse in the final field, stammered: ''How is it possible that I am still here?''

Dick Jaspers plays in the first semi-final round on Thursday his eternal rival Raimond Burgman at 10.30. That means, the reigning Master (20 times winner) against the four-time Master. The other semi-final is between Jean van Erp, one time Masters winner and Ludo Kools, the unknown sniper from the Brabant cycling village Hoogerheide.

Totally unexpected, Dick Jaspers was the player who had to put up the hardest fight to make it to the top four. The top favourite was facing a 2-1 deficit after three sets against Joey de Kok. That was a worrying situation to repair, but Jaspers is a feared killer in these crucial moments. He played rarely bad and, but finally won it on character.

24-year-old Joey de Kok, the son of a billiard-playing father and owner of a very popular restaurant and café, gave up his football career at an early age for a breakthrough in billiards. In this 2021 Masters, he emerged as one of the rare Dutch talents for the future. He has the talent, the trainings are in the hands of the professional player Jean Paul de Bruijn, sponsors will soon present themselves and the home crowd of fans watched the local hero Joey's matches on a big screen in the afternoon during his match with the world's number one Jaspers on the reopened terrace of the restaurant.

The set scores (De Kok-Jaspers): 10-4 (7), 1-10 (7), 10-5 (10), 5-10 (3), 4-10 (3), averages 1,392/1,071.

The only five-set match in the quarter-finals was the crown on a beautiful billiard day. The other three matches ended in comfortable 3-0 scores with Ludo Kools' match facing Barry van Beers as the big sensation. Ludo Kools was the new celebrity in Dutch billiards. On Thursday, he will face Jean van Erp. ''I can only win now, I will give it all on the final day.''

Barry van Beers had an incredible story to find an excuse for his loss: ''I broke my cue tip of my carbon cue at the start of the match, so I was forced to take my other cue shaft, which I hadn't prepaired well for the match. I could not hit the balls anymore, the match was a disaster.''

The set scores (Barry van Beers-Ludo Kools): 3-10 (12), 5-10 (10), 3-10 (13), averages 0,428/0,833.

Jean van Erp, the regional favourite, took revenge in a match for his loss in the pre-rounds against the coming-man Raymund Swerts, which was only exciting in the first set (9-9). The two team mates in the Dutch top team of SIS Schoonmaak were in balance in the first match, in the second, for the quarters, the difference in average and scores was remarkable.

The set scores (Swertz-Van Erp): 9-10 (5), 2-10 (5), 5-10 (6), averages 1,067/1,875.

Raimond Burgman faced a poor and very tame Martien van der Spoel and had no trouble with this opponent. The match showed a very professional player with a wonderful record list facing a pure amateur who has his ups and downs in the Masters. ,,This year, I really couldn't show my skills'', the amiable Nijmegen player confessed. The winner, always feared in finals at the Masters, finished as one of the big guns: 10 points in 1 inning for Mr. Burgman.

The set results (Van der Spoel-Burgman: 4-10 (4), 6-10 (9), 3-10 (1), averages 2,142/1,076.

Ludo Kools, the outsider at the Masters

Raimond Burgman, ready for the clash with Jaspers

Jean van Erp put himself in the spotlights going into the final day




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