English Amateur Billiards Association

EABA : The Amateur Billiard Player : Winter 2002

The Amateur Billiard Player : Winter 2002

IBSF WORLD OPEN BILLIARDS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Mt Pritchard & District Community Club, Sydney, Australia

18th November – 1st December 2002

The Players
Australia
George Chammas
David Collins
Vic Cravino
Ian Gilbee
Mark Hammer
Adrian Hinks
Frank Humphreys
Danik Lucas
Darren Martin
Bill Mifsud
James Mifsud
Steve Mifsud
Joe Millen
Joe Minici
Brian Moulday
Vic Sacco
Phil Tarrant
Keith Taylor
Tim Walters
India
Devendra Joshi*
Alok Kumar*
Vishal Madan
Aditya Mehta
Siddharth Parikh
Vaibhav Punwatkar
Geet Sethi*
Ashok Shandilya*
Dhruv Sitwala*
Rishabh Thakkar
New Zealand
Wayne Carey
Malcolm Cooke
Derek Gibb
Joe Ifa
WBA
Nalin Patel*
Mike Russell*
Thailand
Praprut C.*
* Denotes professional

Australia was the location for the latest IBSF Billiards
Championships, and the event, co-coordinated by the Australian
Billiards & Snooker Council, built upon the example of New Zealand
the previous year, providing excellent communication and coverage
through a specially constructed website on the Internet.

The venue was the impressive Mount Prichard & District Community
Club, in Sydney, known locally as the “Mounties” whose eight tables
had hosted the Australian National Snooker Championships just prior
to the IBSF event. The local Billiards & Snooker Association of New
South Wales provided the administration.

The 50-up format, introduced in Middlesbrough for the 2000 event,
was abandoned last year when the New Zealand Association insisted
on the event reverting to the traditional timed format. Strangely, as if
unsure of exactly what they want to do, the IBSF authorised two
“World Championships” to be held in Australia with a 50-up event
following on from the time-limit contest from 28th November-1st
December 2002.

Time-limit Championship
Entries from professional players were actively sought to the extent
that individual invitations were sent out, but the absence of any significant
prize money proved too much of a deterrent for most of the English
players. The notable exception to this was Mike Russell, who was
known to have been upset that he was not selected as England’s
representative for the New Zealand event, where John Hartley was the
only English player. This year, Russell had laid his plans well, and with
an exhibition and coaching tour of New Zealand financing the trip, he
timed the return journey to include a stay in Australia for the required
period of the Championships.

Russell’s entry came as a surprise to many of the competitors who had
entered without realising he would be in the field. This must have been
a particular blow to the state-sponsored squad from India which included
reigning IBSF Champion, Geet Sethi, whose finance by the Government
is based to a large extent on the success of the players. As they did in
New Zealand, India sent a strong contingent which included most of
their top players under the management of Mike Ferreira. One exception
to the squad was Nalin Patel, who once more was required to enter
himself as a WBA player. This seems to have become a new category
of IBSF affiliation to accommodate the entry of professional players
not otherwise endorsed by their National Associations. Mike Russell
was also entered under this category, while the EASB (England’s official
IBSF affiliate) did not endorse any players, although an offer was made
to John Hartley for an expenses paid trip. He reluctantly declined this
tempting invitation in preference to making his debut representing
England in their Tri-Nation competition which was taking place at the
same time.

The home country seemed to be strongly represented when Robby
Foldvari and Matthew Bolton were announced as entries, but both of
these players withdrew before the
start. Foldvari, who has been
concentrating on Pool exhibitions, had
not played a game of billiards for the
previous two months and also had
dental problems which required
surgery at hospital with the
appointment coinciding with the start
of the Championship. Not feeling that
he could produce a worthwhile
challenge under these circumstances
he decided to withdraw “although I
love competing and representing
Australia” he added. Also
withdrawing due to hospital
treatment, and in more dramatic circumstances, was Ron Milicich, a
young billiards enthusiast from Perth. When his neighbour’s house
caught fire Ron grabbed a hose and was first into the fray, but as a result
he ended up with smoke inhalation which required treatment, and
consequently kept him out of the line-up.

Matthew Bolton, whose form seems to have suffered following his
shock defeat in the Australian Championship, is now reported to be
taking a complete rest from the game and has also stood down from his
position on the Board of the B&SA of Western Australia.

Of those who put in an appearance, the bulk of the 36 player field was
made up of 19 from the host country and 11 from India. New Zealand
sent four players, with Mike Russell and Thailand’s Rom Surin (playing
under his alternative identity of Praprut Chaithanasakun) making up
the compliment.

Group Stages (18th-22nd November)

The entries were divided into six groups with automatic qualification
for the top two, who were joined in the knock-out stages by the four
best from the remainder. The eight professional players were seeded
and distributed as evenly as possible through the groups. Much as
expected, they provided the winner in each section.

Danik Lucas gave some cheer for the home supporters when put up a
good performance to take the runner-up position behind Mike Russell
in Group B, edging out the talented young Indian, Dhruv Sitwala.

Lucas, who did not take part in the 2002 Australian Championship, is
credited with a break of 633 in the Queensland state championships
last year. In his match against Russell he was certainly not over-awed,
making a 292 at his first visit to the table and led the match for most of
the first session. Russell however, ultimately proved too strong, going
on to win 1297-865. Disposing of his other opponents with less trouble,
Russell emerged undefeated in the group, which was depleted by the
withdrawal of Adrian Hinks. Having played two of his matches, Hinks
returned home to look after his business interests and in accordance
with IBSF guidelines all his ties were declared void. Russell’s 1868-273
win over Hinks the day before his departure would have been enough
to have seeded him at No.1 for the knock-out draw had it been allowed
to stand. As it turned out, this made no difference to Russell’s progress.

Photo of The Mount Pritchard Club (5k)

The Championship venue was the impressive Mount Pritchard club.

The recently crowned IBSF Snooker Champion, Steve Mifsud, showed
that he was also a capable performer at the three-ball game when he
defeated the competition’s number three seed, Devendra Joshi, 881-
858 in a very close match in Group E. Joshi recovered from this setback
to win the group, with Mifsud also going through as one of the best
third-placed players. Only a defeat by Alok Kumar prevented Mifsud
from heading the group and being seeded for the next stage of the
competition.

Without the restrictions of the “Baulk-Line” rule there was a general air
of expectation that the event would produce the first competitive
thousand break for many years. The chase gave an increased level of
interest for the spectators, with the
match room filling whenever word
spread that someone had reached 500.

Those who attracted this attention
during the Group stages were Mike
Russell (580), Ashok Shandilya (561),
Nalin Patel (518) and Geet Sethi (514),
but all were destined to disappoint
their audience.

The final day of the Group stages was
highlighted by an outstanding 714
break from Devendra Joshi which set
the target for the high break prize.

Going to the session interval, the break
was at 706 and a spectator wanted to
set up his video camera just in case he went on to the thousand mark.
Devendra when asked if he would allow it, replied “I don’t want the
tape for posterity, I want the break.”

Group A
Geet Sethi
514, 365, 169, 156, 125, 110, 63, 55, 52, 51
2,075 (46.1)Keith Taylor
208 (4.6)
Geet Sethi
166, 112, 97, 92, 78, 76, 73, 63, 60, 58, 56
1,342 (22.0)Malcolm Cooke
60
502 (8.2)
Geet Sethi
436, 377, 170, 170, 109, 108, 92, 73, 59, 54
1,977 (39.5)Bill Mifsud
258 (5.2)
Geet Sethi
375, 264, 227, 78, 72, 368unf
1,623 (56.0)Phil Tarrant
70, 55
428 (14.3)
Geet Sethi
437, 117, 115, 93, 87, 56
1,228 (31.5)Tim Walters
126, 102, 101, 66, 65
732 (18.3)
Tim Walters
133, 102, 94, 62, 55, 54
987 (13.2)Malcolm Cooke
519 (7.0)
Tim Walters
167, 73, 68, 53
975 (19.5)Phil Tarrant
59, 52
457 (9.3)
Tim Walters
139, 99, 85, 73, 71, 59
1,223 (15.1)Keith Taylor
308 (3.8)
Tim Walters
150, 63, 62
972 (11.7)Bill Mifsud
518 (6.2)
Phil Tarrant
100, 70, 68, 60, 59
1,129 (17.1)Bill Mifsud
358 (5.4)
Phil Tarrant
93, 69, 65, 62, 61, 87unf
924 (17.1)Malcolm Cooke
66, 61, 61, 54, 50
691 (12.8)
Phil Tarrant
116, 107, 89, 72, 66, 61, 57
1,152 (17.2)Keith Taylor
364 (5.4)
Malcolm Cooke
73, 54
1,058 (10.2)Keith Taylor
406 (3.9)
Malcolm Cooke
51, 51
822 (9.0)Bill Mifsud
82, 56
642 (7.0)
Bill Mifsud
63
839 (6.6)Keith Taylor
479 (3.7)
Group B
Mike Russell
286, 278, 202, 174, 174, 140, 85, 58, 51
1,840 (40.0)George Chammas
216 (4.7)
Mike Russell
580, 442, 194, 156, 66, 61, 54
1,868 (50.5)Adrian Hinks
273 (7.2)
Mike Russell
460, 432, 124, 82
1,297 (48.0)Danik Lucas
292, 117, 95, 70, 68, 68
865 (33.3)
Mike Russell
90, 89, 85, 81, 67, 66, 59
1,227 (15.9)Vaibhav Punwatkar
541 (6.9)
Mike Russell
446, 357, 302, 254, 52
1,528 (66.4)Dhruv Sitwala
68, 58, 154unf
483 (21.0)
Danik Lucas
125, 78, 76, 63, 59, 57, 56, 55
1,042 (20.0)Vaibhav Punwatkar
57
711 (13.7)
Danik Lucas
239, 230, 197, 159, 123, 117, 85, 84, 82, 82
1,610 (53.7)George Chammas
401 (12.9)
Danik Lucas
253, 163, 149, 133, 85, 82, 75, 62
1,303 (31.0)Dhruv Sitwala
100, 82, 79
479 (11.7)
Danik Lucas
w/o  Adrian Hinks
scr  
Dhruv Sitwala
278, 202, 173, 169, 142, 68, 61, 51
1,433 (37.7)Adrian Hinks
261 (7.1)
Dhruv Sitwala
210, 172, 171, 132, 115, 109, 104, 80, 68, 60, 56
1,502 (48.5)Vaibhav Punwatkar
256 (8.0)
Dhruv Sitwala
402, 228, 107, 94, 89, 83, 216unf
1,553 (40.9)George Chammas
268 (7.1)
Vaibhav Punwatkar
60
717 (8.0)Adrian Hinks
559 (6.2)
Vaibhav Punwatkar
101
720 (8.6)George Chammas
81
684 (8.1)
George Chammas
w/o  Adrian Hinks
scr.  
Adrian
Hinks withdrew from the competition after two matches and his games were discounted from the
final table.
Group C
Ashok Shandilya
212, 182, 123, 114, 88, 74, 72, 66, 65, 60, 58
1,663 (26.4)Brian Moulday
300 (4.8)
Ashok Shandilya
139, 98, 76, 70, 65, 61, 57, 56, 52, 51
1,341 (21.3)Mark Hammer
74, 62
532 (8.3)
Ashok Shandilya
561, 228, 157, 54
1,281 (28.5)Joe Millen
149, 106, 56
726 (16.1)
Ashok Shandilya
281, 127, 115, 78, 76, 74, 61, 61, 51
1,170 (26.6)Siddharth Parikh
76, 65, 57
650 (14.8)
Ashok Shandilya
232, 168, 163, 163, 121, 105, 100, 94, 84, 79, 77, 50
1,723 (53.8)James Mifsud
72, 68
412 (12.5)
Siddharth Parikh
187, 121, 103, 92, 82, 79, 68, 60, 53, 52
1,208 (24.7)Joe Millen
83, 63
582 (11.9)
Siddharth Parikh
211, 190, 96, 78, 61, 51
1,257 (20.3)James Mifsud
56
535 (8.6)
Siddharth Parikh
378, 103, 80, 75, 73, 65, 60, 60, 55, 51, 51
1,431 (24.3)Brian Moulday
442 (7.4)
Joe Millen
150, 82, 81, 76, 55, 52
1,118 (16.0)Brian Moulday
475 (6.7)
Joe Millen
77, 61, 52
865 (12.0)James Mifsud
83
492 (6.7)
Joe Millen
78, 72, 66, 52, 51
962 (14.1)Mark Hammer
516 (7.6)
Mark Hammer
106
779 (10.3)James Mifsud
94, 60
573 (7.4)
Mark Hammer
121, 102, 94, 91, 57, 53
995 (19.9)Siddharth Parikh
123, 94, 64, 63, 62, 56
791 (15.8)
Mark Hammer
75, 66, 52
943 (9.7)Brian Moulday
545 (5.6)
James Mifsud
96
769 (8.0)Brian Moulday
497 (5.1)
Group D
Praprut C.
175, 141, 123, 90, 83, 73, 61, 56, 51
1,107 (24.1)Darren Martin
77, 55
544 (11.6)
Praprut C.
135, 88, 74, 69, 67, 67, 66, 53
1,126 (22.1)Joe Ifa
394 (7.9)
Praprut C.
425, 158, 137, 116, 111, 79, 78, 70, 61, 57, 52
1,517 (54.2)Vishal Madan
80
260 (9.6)
Praprut C.
228, 218, 143, 126, 113, 94, 65, 54, 52
1,308 (45.1)Aditya Mehta
89, 58, 56, 51
544 (18.1)
Praprut C.
148, 140, 130, 101, 89, 76, 68, 55
1,068 (30.5)Frank Humphreys
90
435 (12.4)
Vishal Madan
175, 94, 90, 88, 56, 54
872 (19.4)Aditya Mehta
94, 74, 73, 66, 65, 57
801 (17.8)
Vishal Madan
181, 72, 62, 59, 53
900 (12.7)Darren Martin
58
687 (9.5)
Vishal Madan
200, 177, 104, 102, 92, 84, 60
1,076 (32.6)Frank Humphreys
78, 60
390 (11.8)
Frank Humphreys
67, 55, 51
622 (9.1)Joe Ifa
384 (5.6)
Frank Humphreys
115, 65, 56, 53
796 (16.6)Aditya Mehta
95, 69, 64, 52, 51
612 (12.8)
Frank Humphreys
54
675 (8.5)Darren Martin
549 (6.9)
Darren Martin
80, 53
758 (10.8)Joe Ifa
505 (7.2)
Darren Martin
66, 64
873 (10.2)Aditya Mehta
74, 55
718 (8.3)
Aditya Mehta
71, 66, 65
810 (12.3)Joe Ifa
440 (6.6)
Joe Ifa
87, 78, 74, 54
613 (8.9)Vishal Madan
113, 64
597 (8.5)
Group E
Devendra Joshi
232, 228, 219, 187, 186, 138, 102, 98, 85, 64, 59, 52
1,859 (44.3)Vic Sacco
380 (8.8)
Devendra Joshi
311, 273, 209, 184, 109, 108, 60, 55
1,750 (47.3)Ian Gilbee
61
397 (10.7)
Devendra Joshi
344, 254, 252, 152, 149, 137, 97, 83
1,769 (68.0)Wayne Carey
90, 51
462 (17.8)
Devendra Joshi
714, 464, 103, 63, 51
1,584 (63.4)Alok Kumar
192, 119, 64
598 (23.0)
Alok Kumar
194, 155, 137, 133, 120, 92, 82, 69, 51
1,404 (27.0)Ian Gilbee
87
569 (10.9)
Alok Kumar
181, 138, 122, 93, 82, 71, 68, 66, 66, 57, 57, 52
1,261 (32.3)Steve Mifsud
172, 96, 79, 70, 56
794 (20.4)
Alok Kumar
398, 130, 116, 96, 82, 71, 62, 61, 61, 52, 52
1,532 (33.3)Vic Sacco
63, 57, 51
627 (13.3)
Alok Kumar
247, 180, 134, 96, 77, 77, 75, 74, 53
1,301 (29.6)Wayne Carey
127, 67, 67
685 (15.6)
Steve Mifsud
141, 86, 79, 67, 64, 64, 57, 52
794 (22.7)Wayne Carey
160, 122, 67
651 (19.1)
Steve Mifsud
159, 141, 121, 71, 66, 60
1,165 (20.1)Ian Gilbee
366 (6.3)
Steve Mifsud
106, 103, 96, 92, 81, 65, 54, 51
881 (36.7)Devendra Joshi
282, 185, 142, 63, 50
858 (35.8)
Steve Mifsud
154, 123, 110, 74, 51
1,285 (20.1)Vic Sacco
439 (6.9)
Ian Gilbee
609 (9.1)Vic Sacco
68
511 (7.5)
Ian Gilbee
80, 51
698 (14.2)Wayne Carey
64, 59
584 (11.9)
Wayne Carey
689 (10.8)Vic Sacco
53
587 (9.2)
Group F
Nalin Patel
118, 117, 103, 84, 83, 65, 57
1,231 (17.3)Vic Cravino
501 (7.2)
Nalin Patel
335, 195, 110, 92, 88, 83, 61
1,391 (46.4)Derek Gibb
281 (9.4)
Nalin Patel
518, 123, 118, 111, 111, 56
1,283 (37.7)David Collins
124, 111, 98, 93, 83
674 (19.8)
Nalin Patel
435, 365, 114, 114, 98, 75, 61, 60
1,431 (53.0)Rishabh Thakkar
119, 63
418 (15.5)
Nalin Patel
300, 152, 100, 87
1,032 (31.3)Joe Minici
148, 75, 65, 61, 50
700 (21.2)
Joe Minici
147, 88, 73, 63, 63, 53
791 (15.2)Derek Gibb
50, 90, 81, 51
602 (11.6)
Joe Minici
250, 109, 107, 95, 91, 88
1,136 (29.1)Rishabh Thakkar
77, 67
503 (12.9)
Joe Minici
107, 81, 79, 59, 57, 54, 50
1,065 (19.0)Vic Cravino
649 (11.6)
Joe Minici
204, 146, 103, 85, 78, 78
1,037 (29.6)David Collins
204, 200, 109, 53, 50
787 (22.5)
Derek Gibb
112, 55
649 (11.4)Rishabh Thakkar
56, 53, 51
567 (9.9)
Derek Gibb
54, 50
748 (9.5)Vic Cravino
500 (6.3)
Derek Gibb
79, 66, 62
815 (15.1)David Collins
200, 106
563 (10.2)
David Collins
101, 81, 68
811 (15.0)Rishabh Thakkar
86, 71, 66, 57, 55
738 (13.7)
David Collins
118, 117, 108, 107, 89, 70
1,293 (18.5)Vic Cravino
485 (6.8)
Rishabh Thakkar
66, 64, 54
810 (10.7)Vic Cravino
70, 57
769 (10.0)
Last 16 (23rd November)

The first round of the knock-out stages went largely as expected, with
one notable exception, as Joe Minici produced a major upset to eliminate
Ashok Shandilya. Although it was more a case of Shandilya failing to
produce his usual form than exceptional play by Minici. Shandilya was
unable to record a single century break in a match where he was always
chasing the Australian. Falling behind to an early break of 111, he
gradually pulled back the deficit and edged in front for the first time
towards the end of the first session, but an immediate response of 190
by Minici, the highest break of the match, took him to the front again
and he maintained this position until the end.

Steve Mifsud who had already beaten Devendra Joshi in the Group
stages, now found himself drawn against the same opponent in the
longer format of four hours. As with their earlier encounter, the match
remained close for much of the first session. After this, Joshi built up a
commanding lead of nearly four hundred points with a period of
consistently high scoring. Mifsud showed his fighting quality by hitting
back with two double-century breaks (211 and 217) the latter bringing
him to just 31 points behind his opponent. With time running out, the
deciding factor was a reply of 82 by Joshi, made under some pressure,
and he managed to hold this advantage for a win by 112 points. It was,
nevertheless, an impressive performance by the IBSF Snooker
Champion who intends to take up an automatic place on the UK Main
Tour next season, and has stated his intention to look at the possibility
of taking part in any professional billiards tournaments which may be
held at the same time.

Mike Russell put up one of the best performances of the round with his
1,960-621 demolition of Joe Millen which included breaks of 336, 312
and 254.

Praprut, who has struggled to make any impression on the professional
circuit, revived memories of his performances in the 1999 IBSF
Championship, producing a match average of 49.7 while dominating
his encounter with six-times Australian Champion, Phil Tarrant.

Geet Sethi also came through against Alok Kumar easily enough in the
end, although he left his effort very late. With little to separate the
players for most of the match, a surge of scoring in the second session,
capped by an unfinished run of 348, saw him win by 683 points. This
latter contribution increasing his final match average from the mid-teens
to a respectable 35.2.

Last 16
(4 hours)
Geet Sethi

199, 112, 103, 99, 94, 68, 66, 64, 55, 54, 348unf
1,585(35.2)Alok Kumar

154, 125, 101, 94, 79, 71
902(19.6)
Dhruv Sitwala

183, 170, 118, 94, 80, 75, 75, 68, 59, 54
1,341(23.5)Danik Lucas

120, 99, 98, 75, 72, 56, 52
847(14.9)
Nalin Patel

297, 144, 116, 115, 114, 90, 64, 61, 54, 53, 50
1,627(29.1)Siddarth Parikh

116, 114, 98, 54
814(14.8)
Praprut C.

1,738(49.7)Phil Tarrant

115, 61, 55, 54
481(13.4)
Joe Minici

190, 111, 86, 79, 55, 55
1,170(18.0)Ashok Shandilya

90, 78, 78, 60, 55, 52, 51
967(14.9)
Devendra Joshi

179, 126, 108, 101, 88, 82, 63, 60
1,141(25.4)Steve Mifsud

217, 211, 193
1,029(22.9)
Tim Walters

132, 119, 81, 72, 71, 59, 58, 58
1,241(21.8)Vishal Madan

111, 86, 76, 54
744(13.1)
Mike Russell

336, 312, 254, 136, 126, 115, 111, 101, 87, 86, 57
1,960(39.2)Joe Millen

166
621(12.4)
Quarter-finals (25th November)

Mike Russell was at his majestic best in his quarter-final against Tim
Walters. He was immediately into his stride, consecutive visits producing
runs of 589 and 365 which quickly left Walters on the wrong side of a
998-6 scoreline! A further spell of three visits which added 493, 337
and 353 to Russell’s total put the match completely out of sight for the
Australian. By the time Russell had added another break of 222 his
match average stood at 109.5 and the score 2,629-161 in his favour. To
his credit Walters then put together his highest contribution of the
match, a fine 195. At this stage, and with the match won, Russell
obviously felt he had done enough work for the day, adding just 4
points in his last seven visits which reduced his final match average to
a still very impressive 84.9.

Joe Minici improved on his performance in the previous round, but
was still totally outclassed by World No.10 Devendra Joshi. Never
behind, Joshi consistently scored more heavily than his opponent,
every century by Minici being met by a double or triple-century in
reply.

With both Nalin Patel and Praprut struggling to find their form, the
early part of their quarter-final match had few highlights, Praprut
spending this time gradually building a useful lead of about a hundred
points. The game came to life with the first century of the match, 151
by Praprut, which was quickly followed by one of 199 by Patel, bringing
his deficit down to 69 points. However, he would get no closer, as
Praprut maintained his improved showing, adding a top break of 276 to
increase his ultimate winning margin to 362 points.

Dhruv Sitwala who lost by the narrowest of margins to Geet Sethi in
the 2002 Indian Championship, must have felt that at last he had the
measure of his illustrious opponent, as he seemed set for a famous
victory in this latest encounter. He dominated the match from the start
and completed the first session leading 680-325. Continuing in much
the same vein Sitwala built up a commanding lead of over 500 points.

Sethi, who had not managed a century break until this point, then
awoke with a run of 111, quickly followed by another of 349 to give
himself a chance. Sitwala, with renewed determination, immediately
responded with 218, his highest break of the match, but Sethi was not
finished and with time running out took the lead for the first time with
another triple-century (363). This time, Sitwala was not able to respond,
and Sethi held on for the remaining minutes of the match to win by 162
points.

Quarter-finals
(4 hours)
Geet Sethi

363, 349, 111, 74, 69, 64, 59
1,222(30.6)Dhruv Sitwala

218, 169, 136, 124, 122, 80
1,060(27.2)
Praprut C.

1,271(31.0)Nalin Patel

199, 134, 94, 64
909(22.2)
Devendra Joshi

305, 268, 259, 233, 214, 210, 127, 88, 79, 51
2,188(64.4)Joe Minici

145, 124, 107, 81, 71, 66
809(23.1)
Mike Russell

589, 493, 365, 353, 335, 222, 83, 62
2,633(84.9)Tim Walters

195
439(14.2)
Semi-finals (26th November)

The semi-final between Praprut and Sethi once again saw a mighty
effort by the reigning Champion to avoid elimination. After an hour’s
play, Praprut had carved out a lead of 150 points only to see this
position reversed by a break of 310 from Sethi. Sticking to his task, the
imperturbable Praprut gradually overhauled Sethi once more,
establishing a lead of almost 200 with less than an hour remaining.

Again, the Champion rose to the challenge, and played out the remaining
time with a perfectly executed 759 unfinished (53:45 minutes). Several
of the audience, gathered in anticipation of seeing the thousand break,
felt that Sethi was only beaten by the clock in this objective, remaining
in perfect position at the conclusion.

Joshi’s performances in previous rounds suggested that amongst all the
players in the competition, he was the most likely to pose a threat to
Mike Russell. However, he was given little time to settle as the WBA
Professional Champion knocked in breaks of 151 and 294 at his second
and fourth visits. Following these almost immediately with another of
157, Russell then spent the next hour making the highest break of the
competition, with a magnificent 823 (59:59 minutes). When the break
was terminated by the miss of a relatively easy losing hazard, there
was disappointment that once again the thousand mark had not been
passed, but it was sufficient to ensure that Russell progressed safely
through to the final as adding 142 at his following visit he led Joshi
1,603-145 with an average of over 200! A now demoralised Joshi
continued for a while longer, but when trailing by 1,714 points he
offered to concede the match with 31 minutes left to play. This was
accepted by Russell who finished with a final match average of 97.6.

Semi-finals
(4 hours)
Geet Sethi

310, 72, 62, 55, 759unf
1,483(54.9)Praprut C.

915(32.7)
Mike Russell

823, 294, 157, 151, 142, 113, 94, 87, 80, 80
2,148(97.6)Devendra Joshi

87, 62, 62
434(18.9)
Final (27th November)

The final was extended to six hours player in three sessions. This
competition had been by far the longest sustained period of competitive

Mike Russell takes charge of the Arthur Walker Trophy, and semi-finalists Devendra
Joshi and Praprut display their prizes.

play that Mike Russell had seen in many years. It is certainly difficult
to bring to mind any previous occasion he has been scheduled to play
33 hours in a single event. However, any thoughts that he may begin to
tire were quickly dispelled as he replied to an opening effort of 108 by
Sethi with runs of 264 and 396 in consecutive visits. Not to be outdone,
Sethi, who by now must have been accustomed to recovering from
distant positions, produced a series of visits totalling 70, 246, 48 and
396 to trail by just 32 points at 976-944. With the game finely balanced
for a while, Russell moved ahead again with a 364 break and then
settled the match when he extended his lead to over a thousand with
another massive break of 708 (50:02 minutes). When this terminated,
there were just 25 minutes remaining and insufficient time for Sethi
recover. He did make some inroads to the deficit with a run of 241, but
was never in a position to catch Russell who finished a comfortable
winner.

Final
(6 hours)
Mike Russell

708, 396, 364, 264, 145, 130, 54
2,438(81.3)Geet Sethi

396, 246, 241, 164, 108, 70, 65
1,499(48.4)

Geet Sethi, having received the unfortunate news that his father had
been taken ill, left for India immediately after the final, forgoing the
chance to compete in the 50-up Championship. Russell was awarded
prize money totalling AU$3,200 (£1,128) including AU$200 for his
high break of 823 and took possession of a rather battered and distinctly
grubby-looking Arthur Walker Trophy. This was possibly the only
tarnish on an otherwise polished presentation by the Australian
Association, and one of which that can justifiably be proud.

50-up Championship

Despite the AU$100 entry fee for the time-limit event also entitling
players to compete in the 50-up Championship, only 22 of the 36
long-format competitors decided to do this. However, the numbers
were made up to 32 with additional entries, mainly from Australia.

Mike Russell, who, following the Middlesbrough championship, had
vowed never to play 50-up again, decided that he might as well have a
try for the AU$2,400 (£847) first prize, but struggled from the outset.

Losing 5-3 to the unknown Indian, Aditya Mehta, he finished in a
three-way tie for the Group, progressing only on the basis of having
the best aggregate. His reprieve was short-lived, for although he defeated
Australian Stuart Lawler in the Last 16, he was comprehensively beaten
9-1 in the next round by Ashok Shandilya.

In fact, Shandilya proved to be the best exponent of this form of
billiards, seeing off all opposition, although a determined challenge by
Praprut in the final, pushed him all the way to an 11-9 result.

Group positions
Group A
Rishabh Thakkar

(India)

3 Ajay Rastogi

(India)

2 
Steve Mifsud

(Australia)

1 George Chammas

(Australia)

0 
Group B
Mike Russell

(England)

2 Aditya Mehta

(India)

2 
Wayne Carey

(New Zealand)

2 Vic Cravino

(Australia)

0 
Group C
Ashok Shandilya

(India)

3 Vishal Madan

(India)

2 
Todd Hayward

(Australia)

1 Phil Miller

(Australia)

0 
Group D
Praprut C.

(Thailand)

3 Vaibhav Punwatkar

(India)

2 
Joe Millen

(Australia)

1 Brian Moulday

(Australia)

0 
Group E
ddharth Parikh

(India)

3 Devendra Joshi

(India)

2 
Darren Martin

(Australia)

1 Michael Lupton

(Australia)

0 
Group F
Nalin Patel WBA

3 Stuart Lawler

(Australia)

2 
Mark Hammer

(Australia)

1 Joe Caccamo

(Australia)

0 
Group G
Alok Kumar

(India)

3 Joe Minici

(Australia)

2 
Joe Ifa

(New Zealand)

1 Ernie Hille

(Australia)

0 
Group H
awn Budd

(Australia)

3 Dhruv Sitwala

(India)

2 
Vic Sacco

(Australia)

1 Malcolm Cooke

(New Zealand)

0 
Last 16
Ashok Shandilya
8  Devendra Joshi
6  
Mike Russell
8  Stuart Lawler
1  
Alok Kumar
8  Dhruv Sitwala
3  
Rishabh Thakkar
8  Vaibhav Punwatkar
5  
Nalin Patel
8  Vishal Madan
5  
Siddharth Parikh
8  Aditya Mehta
1  
Shawn Budd
8  Ajay Rastogi
3  
Praprut C.
8  Joe Minici
1  
Quarter-finals
Ashok Shandilya
9  Mike Russell
1  
Alok Kumar
9  Rishabh Thakkar
0  
Nalin Patel
9  Siddharth Parikh
2  
Praprut C.
9  Shawn Budd
1  
Semi-finals
Ashok Shandilya
10  Alok Kumar
6  
Praprut C.
10  Nalin Patel
5  
Final
Ashok Shandilya
11  Praprut C.
9  
Prize Money
  • Champion $3,000 (£1,058)
  • Runner-up $1,500 (£529)
  • Losing Semi-Finalists $750 (£265)
  • Losing Quarter-Finalists $400 (£140)
  • Losing Last 16 $200 (£70)
  • Highest Break $200 (£70)

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