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The KAISER still on top !

Posted by on March 10, 2022

The KAISER still on top !

© EPBF Daniela Kayano
53 years old... So what ?

Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships presented by HOTEL THERMANA PARK LAŠKO

Veteran Ralf Souquet, the owner of 19 Dynamic Billard European Championship individual gold medals, made it 20 as he rolled back the years in Lasko, Slovenia, winning the 8-ball division as he defeated Austria’s Mario He 8-5. It was a big moment for Souquet, 53, as he ably demonstrated that he can still compete and win among very tough fields and he let all his joy in victory flow out at the conclusion. 

“It’s just an amazing feeling. I think I won my last individual title in 2010 in Croatia and 12 years later, here in Slovenia, I picked up a title again, this time in 8-Ball, my favourite game. I was close; I lost in the finals in Italy, I think two years ago, made it to the semis last year in Turkey where I played well but couldn’t get over the finish line and this year, it didn’t look too good either, I started almost every discipline quite bad with a loss and had to grind my way through but eventually everything paid off,” commented a delighted Souquet. 

The match got underway as Souquet won the lag and delivered an excellent break which gave him all options. He took the stripes and completed a comfortable run out to take the first rack. He failed to make a ball off the break in the next but returned to the table following a Souquet scratch. Looking a little uncomfortable, He failed to make progress and Souquet dished up for a 2-0 lead. 

That soon became 3-0 as another good break from the veteran German gave him a nice layout and he methodically worked his way around the table. The imposing Austrian had his first success on the break and, choosing stripes set to work on the table. A superb three rail positional shot kept his run going and he deposited the 8 ball into the corner pocket to reduce his deficit. 

A big break from Ralf saw the cue ball fly off the table and He was back in the chair. Weighing up the options, he elected solids and with no real problems, he ran out for 3-2. With two balls off his break shot in the next, He went for the solids, starting with the 6 ball, and went through the table with ease to level the score up. 

Souquet made a ball on the break and took a solid into the centre pocket. With a shot-clock in operation, Ralf went through the balls before missing a simple 2 ball onto the corner pocket with just the black left. He stroked his way through the stripes to overturn a three-rack deficit and lead 4-3. 

With the Austrian in the driving seat, he made a fateful error as, with two stripes left, he forced position and saw the cue ball collide with the 8 ball and pocket it for loss of rack. Souquet had a couple of potential problem clusters in the next. It wasn't the easiest of tables but Ralf was the master of it to regain the lead at 5-4. 

He was up against it now and chose solids after a lengthy deliberation and in no time, he cleared the table to level it and make the match a race to three. Two balls down from Souquet in the next, gave him an excellent opportunity to advance his cause and with a lifetime of 8 ball experience behind him, he cleared for 6-5. 

He made a ball on the break and parked the cue ball in the middle of the table. With two balls left, He overran by a distance and was forced into a difficult bank on the 7 ball. It was a bad error at such a critical juncture in the match and it left Souquet an opportunity to reach the hill. The German maestro grabbed it with both hands to leave himself breaking for the title. 

It wasn't plain sailing though, as the 8 ball was kicked in off the break. With the option of a re-rack or a re-spot, Souquet had the black re-spotted. The championship-winning rack is never easy but Souquet drew on all his experience to clear the table for a wonderful victory. The wily veteran let all his emotions flood out as he was congratulated by Pia Filler who had just won the ladies’ division on the adjacent table. 

“I guess, at 53, I would be the oldest ever gold medallist in the men’s division and I’m super proud of myself because it’s super tough to win a Euro Tour or a European Championship with all the young guns being around. When you look through the medal winners over the last five years, I don’t know if there was a winner older than 35. That shows what Europe has achieved over the years especially with the Euro Tour which is the strongest tour on the planet and that’s why so many tough players are playing in Europe,” Souquet continued. 

“I think that was my 20th individual title but the last one was 12 years ago and when you’ve played in every single European Championship since but you didn’t even get close to winning then this is a big relief when you finally get to lift the trophy and become European Champion,” added a delighted Ralf Souquet. 

Final 

Ralf Souquet (GER) 8 – 5 Mario He (AUT) 

Semi Finals 

Ralf Souquet (GER) 8 – 4 Thorsten Hohmann (GER) 

Mario He (AUT) 8 – 6 Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) 

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship sees 15 separate events across four disciplines - 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool – plus the men's and women's team competitions. In total there are four divisions; men, women, under 23 men and wheelchair users. 

All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com 

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com/tournaments/european-championships/

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