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Third time is gold for Dick Jaspers in Las Vegas

Posted by on April 3, 2022

Third time is gold for Dick Jaspers in Las Vegas

© Predator World Cup
Dick Jaspers on top of the podium with Sameh Sidhom, Jérémy Bury and Haeng Jik Kim.

LAS VEGAS - The third time was gold for Dick Jaspers in Las Vegas. The number one in the world won the World Cup final against Sameh Sidhom from Egypt, on early Saturday night in the American gambling city: 50-43 in 30 innings. ''I finally managed to win here in Vegas'', was the first comment of the Dutch world champion, who also won the first World Cup this year in Ankara and strengthened his leading position in the world rankings.

Twice before in his career, Jaspers played a final in Vegas. Both times he was beaten: in 2001 by Blomdahl (3-1 in sets), in 2003 by Sayginer (3-1). ''I feel very lucky that I could win this time'', he reacted on his World Cup victory in the event that was played in the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino on Predator billiards, which felt a bit awkward at first. Jaspers looked back on his performance with the impression of a varying level of form. ''It was good sometimes, but other matches a bit less'', the Dutchman said. ''I was strong against Zanetti and Kim, against Coklu, I just escaped losing. When I was 48-42 behind, I could finish with a nice eight. That was a tough match with many difficult positions and no control over the balls''.

In the final match, Jaspers felt a bit insecure at first. ''The balls were polidhrf too well, so they slipped a bit longer. I had a tough start and my feeling wasn't that good yet. Fortunately, I had a strong middle part in the match. It remained exciting though, because Sidhom stayed close. My feeling was that he attacked and defended well, very sharp, even though he was only playing his first World Cup final. But I remained alert and calm and was able to make the last two in the end. It's great to win such a big tournament again. And what a big successes all in a row these last months, for which I can't find a reason right away.''

The world champion enjoyed the atmosphere in the complex, where a big pool tournament was played as well in other rooms. ''It was a hard effort after such a long journey. And you have to be there right away on that first day with three matches to make it to the best sixteen. I had the luck to do it and afterwards Vegas was fantastic to experience.''

Sameh Sidhom, the losing finalist after a wonderful tournament, later commented: ''I played my best tournament so far in my career and really enjoyed every match. I feel a bit sad now, because I couldn't win the final, but tomorrow I will wake up and feel proud of what I showed in Vegas. I want to thank all the fans, who were very enthusiastic, rarely I've seen fans like this in the world''.

Jaspers fell behind 13-3 in the final against Sidhom after seven misses in eight innings. He made up the score with a 9 in the 11th inning (15-14) and took a lead by making runs of 4, 5, 4, 4 and 4 between the 15th and 20th inning (34-27). Sidhom threatened in the end with a six (47-42), but Jaspers reacted immediately and finished with 1 and 2, and could cheer and raise his hands.

In the semi-final Jaspers also took a distance from Haeng Jik Kim, the Korean in the top five of the world ranking, only in the last part (50-39 in 29/28). Kim led 14-10 in 10, Jaspers reached 22-20 in 15 with two 5-pointers and closed the gap with 7 and 6 (35-23 in 17). He kept the margin and finished with 3 for 50-31 in 26.

The first semi-final was one with two faces. Jérémy Bury dominated the first part, Sameh Sidhom took control of the match in the second. The Frenchman, who until this match played an excellent tournament, also had a fluent start in this match with 26 in the first 10 innings and a big lead on Sidhom. The decline was striking: Sidhom found his feeling and rhythm and came into the match with a run of 11 (from 32-21 down to 32-32). The turnaround was complete, as Bury hardly scored anymore and Sidhom ran out to 45-34 and with a run of four (one lucky shot, one miss by a kiss) was one inning away from winning, which eventually came at 50-39 (29).

Dick Jaspers remains leader in the world ranking 215 points ahead of Marco Zanetti, the number 2. Quyet Chien Tran, Dani Sánchez and Sameh Sidhom complete the top five. The winner finished the World Cup with a 1.807 average, Sameh Sidhom with 1.701. The two players in third place, Jérémy Bury and Haeng Jik Kim finished with 1.726 and 1.694. The highest general average was for Tayfun Tasdemir with 1,812. The highest runs of 12 were made by Marco Zanetti, Jacob Haack Sörensen, Sung Won Choi, Lütfi Cenet, Duc Anh Chien Nguyen and Jeffrey Jorissen.

The World Cup in Las Vegas will not go down in history as a tournament with many high averages and extremely high runs. The qualifications had no real outliers and also later in this World Cup, world matches were the exception. The Vietnamese Dinh Tien Dang was one of the first players to claim a leading role. Two times Dang was the leader of the day's ranking, after Mazin Shooni, an American player of some repute, had dominated the first ranking.

Dinh Tien Tang shone on the third day of play with 4 match points and 1.935 on average, in the session for the Pre Qualifier in which Dutchman Jeffrey Jorissen finished in the top three with 1.538 and a best run of twelve. That was the run-up to the final qualification with many big reputations at the tables, like Nguyen Quoc Nguyen (day winner with 4 points and 1.904) and Jacob Haack Sörensen (4-1.818, runs 12 and 10) and with Myung Woo Cho, the young Korean talent who returned to the international stage, Cataño, Choi, Forthomme, Lee and Montes.

Those last twelve groups in the qualifications, with 12 group winners and 3 numbers 2, resulted in a final field of 32 with the leaders of the world rankings. Dick Jaspers, Dani Sánchez and Jung Han Heo were the players with the maximum score in that run-up to the knock-outs, Pedro Piedrabuena and Sameh Sidhom also remained unbeaten with 5 match points out of three games. The biggest names who were eliminated in the ever-engaging marathon to get 16 players to the final stage were Merckx, Tasdemir, Horn, Nguyen and Sung Won Choi.

With Haeng Jik Kim giving a first demonstration of his class against Semih Sayginer (50-20 in 22), the World Cup was definitively launched in the eighth finals. Dick Jaspers triumphed with a two points margin over Murat Naci Coklu and Pedro Piedrabuena, the silent American, sent the experienced Blomdahl home.

Three players from the top 8 of the previous World Cup in Ankara (Jaspers, Zanetti and Kim) were only left for the quarter-finals. Dick Jaspers was a real torment for Marco Zanetti in a one-way match (50-17 in 17/16), Jérémy Bury won against Colombian Huberney Cataño (50-36 in 20), Sameh Sidhom against Piedrabuena (50-43 in 27) and Haeng Jik Kim against Dani Sánchez (50-46 in 27).

The result: a semi-final with Jaspers, Kim, Sidhom and Bury, which led to the final podium with Jaspers as winner before Sidhom, Bury and Kim.

.1 Dick Jaspers 14-1.807-9

2 Sameh Sidhom 11-1.701-113 Jérémy Bury 8-1.726-11
4 Haeng Jik Kim 8-1.694-10
5 Dani Sánchez 8-1.714-10
6 Pedro Piedrabuena 7-1.664-10
7 Marco Zanetti 6-1.608-12
8 Huberney Cataño 5-1.412-11
9 Jung Han Heo 6-1.702-11
10 Choong Bok Lee 4-1.755-9
11 Semih Sayginer 4-1.716-10
12 Can Capak 4-1.585-8
13 Torbjörn Blomdahl 4-1.524-8
14 Quyet Chien Tran 4-1.431-11
15 Myung Woo Cho 4-1.409-7
16 Murat Naci Coklu 3-1.481-7

Sameh Sidhom, silver medal in his best World Cup ever so far

The top 14 in the world ranking after Vegas:
1 Dick Jaspers 596 punten
2 Marco Zanetti 381
3 Quyet Chien Tran 347
4 Dani Sánchez 314
5 Sameh Sidhom 286
6 Haeng Jik Kim 278
7 Tayfun Tasdemir 275
8 Eddy Merckx 274
9 Jérémy Bury 273
10 Murat Naci Coklu 249
11 Martin Horn 231
12 Semih Sayginer 229
13 Torbjörn Blomdahl 210
14 Jung Han Heo 210.




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My Comments

High Run of Tournament
In the PPQ on Day 2, Jesus Corona of the USA ran 16. I guess high runs are considered only when the field is at 32.

Message 1/1 - Publish at April 3, 2022 6:15 PM

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