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Top players for goldrush in New York


Published by frits bakker

© © New York city
New York by night, the city where billiards history will be written this summer

NEW YORK - The six best players in the world and six wild card players are facing the world's most attractive three cushion tournament ever. Twelve top players in three cushion meet each other in New York from 5 to 11 August to battle it out for a total of 608.000 dollars in prize money. The winner will receive 150.000 dollar. The name of the tournament: McCreery 3C Champion of Champions. The location is in New York. The organization is in the hands of UMB in cooperation with the organizers.

The six seeded players, who meet each other in a full competition (Round Robin) and then in two semi-finals and a final are:

Frédéric Caudron (Belgium)
Eddy Merckx (Belgium)
Dick Jaspers (Netherlands)
Marco Zanetti (Italy)
Haeng-Jik Kim (South Korea)
Torbjörn Blomdahl (Sweden).

The six wildcards are Raymond Ceulemans (Belgium), Dani Sánchez (Spain), Sung-Won Choi (South Korea), Semih Sayginer (Turkey),
Pedro Piedrabuena (USA) and Hugo Patino (USA).

Mr. Farouk Barki, UMB president: ,,In the last meeting in New York, from 20 to 22 January, we finalized the tournament. It will be a UMB event, but the organizers have done all the preparations for two years. We thank them for their common passion for our sport. This great tournament will be a promotional event for our sport in which new cameras and a new production system will be introduced. There is chosen for the name Champion of Champions, because ten players have been world champions one or more times. Haeng-Jik Kim four times as a junior. The two American players have been champions in the confederation for the last two years. I hope, as the UMB chairman, that it will be a huge success and that the tournament will return on the calendar in the coming years.''

The event is called an invitation tournament: the organizer determines which twelve players are invited. There are no ranking points to win for the UMB rankings. The field has been carefully chosen: Caudron, Merckx, Jaspers, Zanetti, Kim and Blomdahl are the first six players in the world ranking. Raymond Ceulemans is the eternal legend of three cushion, winner of 23 world titles in three cushion and 23 European titles. Dani Sánchez is the four times world champion, Sung-Won Choi the only Korean world champion, Semih Sayginer the Turkish prince of billiards, Pedro Piedrabuena and Hugo Patino the best American players.

The prize money was never seen before in billiards. The winner will be rewarded by the biggest prize (150.000 dollars) that he ever won in his career. Compared to other, well-paid sports, such as cycling and darts:

X The Tour de France winner receives 500.000 euros, the number two 200.000, the number three on stage 100.000 euros.
X The green jersey (sprint) winner receives 15.000 euros.
X The stage winners in the Tour receive 11.000 euros.
X The winner at the Mont Ventoux or Alpe d'Huez: 800 euros.
X The winner of the world championship darts receives 350.000 euros.
X The losing finalist 160.000 euros.
X The winner of the famous Lakeside tournament: 100.000 euros.

In the year that the UMB (world federation of billiards) launched huge plans, with better paid World Cups, new tournaments, such as the Continental Cup and Masters tournaments for top players, the New York McCreery 3C Champion of Champions is the first big event on the calendar. The tournament in New York is named after Wayman C. McCreery (1851-1901), a respected taxman from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, who was a great sportsman, but also is seen as the man who invented three cushion, half a year century before the first official three cushion world championship was played in Reims (1928).

The tournament in New York will be broadcast with the most advanced technical equipments. The complete competition between the twelve players will be played in matches to 40 on three match tables, brand Rok Billiards. The four best players then meet in the semi-finals and the final to 50 points without an equalizing inning.

The twelve players for the New York event

The Belgians Frédéric Caudron and Eddy Merckx, world's numbers 1 and 2

Dick Jaspers, who played a world record match: 40 in 4 innings