Thursday, July 30 Mosconi Cup Tickets on Sale


Tuesday, July 21

Finnish Open

It was a sobering effect to go to my home country and get my ass handed to me. But all in all, it'll pretty much tell you how hard it is to be consistent in a game like 9-ball. I had a semi-holiday before the tournament started as I was fully devouring the scene at the Finnish countryside. It had little to do with my performance, good or bad. The tournament itself was organized at a shopping centre/hotel/restaurant complex called Flamingo. The venue called BowlCircus is an avant-garde version of a bowling-pool room combination. Its state- of-the-art look doesn't leave anybody cold. Everything from floor to ceiling is sleek details of granite, dark woods and proper chrome. Ultraviolet lights along the bowling alley and partially in the bar sets the mood just right for some chill time. Brunswick Metro tables with blue Simonis-cloth fit the bill as well.
Players were mostly from Finland though we had Niels Feijen from Holland and Dennis Grabe from Estonia among the favorites to win. I managed to win the 8-man 10-ball ring game on Friday that preceded the main event on Saturday. So I thought I was in good form. I made it through Saturday for the final 16 on Sunday. Then I played Marko Lohtander, one of the top players from Finland for 10 years or so. I played a pretty solid game but at 8-7 in my favor Marko fluked the 9. I then managed to scratch the next rack by clipping of a ball into the side. This left Marko an easy chance to take the lead for the first time in the race to 11 game. Then at 9-8 he broke and ran out. 10-8. I made a ball in the next break then played safe. Marko jumped but left me a shot. I ran out. Then at 10-9 in his favor, he broke, made a tricky shot on the two but fell short on a position, but was able to make a random 3-6 combo straight in. The rest of the table was formality. I am glad he eventually won; it makes me look better. lol. Against him in the finals was one of the future promises, Kim Laaksonen. Only 17 years of age. He actually beat Niels in the quarterfinals to advance.
The brainchild of this event was Kimmo Lehtonen and Tommi Lamminaho as a wingman. Kimmo being a veteran pro bowler despite his youthfulness happens to be the owner of the establishment. He even has the World's largest solid bowling ball element in the room by the entrance. Made of solid spectrolite. Weighs about 30 000 lb. It tells you something about his ambitions. When he does something, it's done with style. On top of all this, he is just a really funny guy. Nothing seems to bother him. That's the kind of people we need in our industry. As they are planning to have another tournament next year even bigger and better, rest assured, I am there.

Wednesday, July 8

Qatar Open Champion!!!!

Dear all,

I played a terrific tournament with a bit of a scare in the first round of 32.

I have to admit that my dreams of of winning were almost made empty by
Mariusz Skoneczny of Poland. In the round of last 32 he was in the lead 10-8
but I managed to hang in by the skin of my teeth. I ran three consecutive racks
(he had a dry break at 10-9) to advance to the final 16. Phew!

In the last 16 and all the way through to the finals I played better and was able to
win games with a pretty clear margin. 11-4 against Israel Rota of Philippines,
11-5 with Niels Feijen and 11-3 VS Antonio Cabica. I beat Pin Yi Ko 13-9 in the finals.

It was all in all a wonderfully organized event. The conditions were so good. Tables Brunswick
Glod Crown 5, Aramith Super Pro balls etc.

It still has not quite sunken in yet that I won. Maybe I am tired of all the travelling I have
done the last 3 weeks. It really is time now to go to the Finnish countryside lake, kick back and have
a nice frosty beer while watching the sun set in the horizon.