YEAR 6-Septermber, 2016
VENUE: Eastin Grand Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
RESULT: BANGKOK 102 JAKARTA 99 SINGAPORE 97 MANILA 85 SEOUL 80 SAIGON 76 PHNOM PENH 71 SHANGHAI 62
BANGKOK HEAT: Team 1 – Ruairi McCarroll, Mao Kakuda, Les Huysmans, Nick Vettewinkel, Joakim Nordangard, Ronny Jakobsen, Alex Quek (Brad Simpson Capt). Team 2: – Monto Monga, Joe Veriato, Steve Jennings, Cian O’Mahony, David Henderson, Steven Joines, Casey Tan, Frank Schimrock (Stuart Pettman Capt)
RECAP: Vini, Vidi, Vici!!! After 4 consecutive Championships to start this event, Bangkok lost the title last year to Jakarta. With Jakarta coming into year 6 as the defending Champions and Singapore claiming that this year was their turn, Bangkok showed up with a renewed determination and purpose. After the 4 rounds of play on day 1 it was clear that a winner would emerge from one of the 3, as the result amongst them was too close to call while the other 5 teams were well behind. On day 2, with 3 rounds left to play, Bangkok was scheduled to play 6 matches, with 2 of them being head-to-heads against Jakarta and 2 of them being head-to-heads against Singapore. Jakarta scored big in it’s 6th round match against Ho Chi Minh, getting 18 wins totally in the round to Bangkok’s 11. Bangkok countered well in round 6 with a strong win over Singapore that all but knocked them out of contention. Bangkok went in to the last round down 4 to Jakarta, but Bangkok 1 and Jakarta 1 were to go head-to-head on the TV table while the other Jakarta team was to play Singapore. Bangkok 2 picked up 7 wins against Seoul, while Jakarta 2 only managed 4 against Singapore. That cut the lead to 1, and set the stage for the showdown. Bangkok 1 beat Jakarta 8-4 in that last televised match to win by 3. This was by far the most competitive event to date, and was not decided until the last few frames of the very last match. 15 people played for Bangkok, but they were well supported by an additional 18 who made the trip. They helped with some strong cheering. Most importantly, the trophy is now back in Bangkok where it belongs.
NEXT YEAR: The target venue for 2017 is Phnom Penh. They now have a venue that can support the play and a venue for the Meet & Greet. It remains toi be seen if they can get the financial support necessary for hosting the event. If they cannot, Bangkok will host the event.
SINGLES TOURNAMENT: Both Mao and Ruairi made it past the qualifying rounds and into the round of 8. Mao was eliminated first, but Ruairi made it into the finals against former French national Champion John Michele Berrile. With both players on the hill in a race to 5, John Michele managed to run the table for the win. Ruairi might not be able to get his revenge next year, though, as Alex Quek and Joe Veriato earned the right to represent Bangkok next year with some brilliant play in Ho Chi Minh this year.
YEAR 5– November, 2015
VENUE– Dungeon Pool Lounge
RESULT: JAKARTA 88 BANGKOK 84 SINGAPORE 84 SAIGON – 75 – MANILA 73 – PHNOM PENH 54 -SHANGHAI 50
BANGKOK HEAT: Team 1 – Ruairi McCarroll, Brad Simpson, Cian O’Mahony, Mao Kakuda, Alex Quek, David Henderson (Joakim Nordangard Capt). Team 2: Joe Veriato, Nick Vettewinkel, Steve Jennings, Steven Joines, Ronny Jakobsen, Monto Monga, Graham Hill (Bob Randle Capt).
RECAP: After 4 consecutive victories, Bangkok came in 2nd in an event that was clearly the most competitive event to date. Virtually every team that was there was an improved version of the teams that competed last year in Manila. All of them saw Bangkok as the team to beat, so every side we played had no problem getting motivated to take us on. All of the teams took turns knocking each other off, though, and it eventually came down to a repeat of the Bangkok vs Jakarta rivalry. Jakarta had an advantage in points going into the head-to-head confrontation round 7. Bangkok was able to give them a real scare, but was unable to pull off a win by a large enough margin to offset it. The entire event was decided in the last few matches of the final round.
NEXT YEAR: The 2016 event will be played in Ho Chi Minh City. They were only 4 points off the lead after Day 1 of this event, and should be stronger next year on their own turf. It will be an 8-Team event, as Seoul will be joining the fray.
SINGLES TOURNAMENT: The Singles Tournament side of the event will be played next year in Ho Chi Minh City in conjunction with the main Asia Pool Challenge. The players with the 2 best records for Bangkok at this event will represent us there. I am still waiting for the official score tally, but Mao (10-2), Ruairi (9-3) and Nick (9-3) are the likely candidates. All played extremely well in Jakarta.
YEAR 4 – November, 2014
VENUE: Resort World Manila in Manila
RESULT: BANGKOK 106 – MANILA 95 – SINGAPORE 95 JAKARTA 93 SHANGHAI 84 SAIGON 80 PHNOM PENH 77
TEAM BANGKOK: Team 1-Paul Heap, Joe Veriato, Jimmy Connolly, Les Huysmans, Nick Vettewinkel, & Will Kiiskinen (Bob Randle- Capt). Team 2-Ruairi McCarroll, Steven Joines, Stijn Claeys, Brad Simpson, Cian O’Mahony, & Sven Claeys (Steve Kennington- Capt). Team 3-David Henderson, Mao Kakuda, Joakim Nordangard, Paul Dalton, Ronny Jakobsen, & Niklas Spare (Adrian Salter- Capt).
RECAP: The addition of Phnom Penh brought the field up to 7 teams, and made it necessary to alter the format once again. This time we stayed with games versus points, and it made for a great event that was not decided until the final round of play. Each city broke into 3 teams that would each play 60 games for a total of 180 (10 games against each of the other 6 cities). Bangkok was in 3rd place after day 1, but the teams ahead of us had played more games. Our 3 teams were well assorted, and managed a record of 11 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss(4-6) for a fairly comfortable lead going in to the final round of play on day 2. We drew one and lost one, but it wasn’t enough to dislodge us from 1st place and our 4th consecutive win.
SINGLES TOURNAMENT: Year 2 of the Singles Tournament saw Ruairi McCarroll and David Henderson representing Bangkok in the 14 player event held in Jakarta in May. Ruairi made it through the qualifiers as the number 1 seed, and then on to the finals against reigning Champion Freddy Soh of Shanghai. He played brilliantly, winning the event and avenging Pontus’s loss last year. David made it to the last qualifying match, where both he and his opponent were playing for the last spot in the draw. David came up short in a tough match. Freddy Soh finished 2nd, and Chng Kheng Leng repeated his 3rd place finish from last year.
YEAR 3 – November, 2013
VENUE: The Grand Kemang Hotel in South Jakarta.
RESULT: BANGKOK 15(99 wins) – JAKARTA 12(96 wins) – SAIGON 7 (69 wins) – MANILA 6 (67 wins) – SHANGHAI 4 (61 wins) – SINGAPORE 0 (58 wins)
TEAM BANGKOK: Team 1– Joe Veriato, Les Huysmans, Paul Heap, Nick Vettewinkel, Jimmy Connolly, & Paul Whelan (Barry Bradford -Capt). Team 2- Mark Sylvester, Brad Simpson, Ruairi McCarroll, Mao Kakuda, & Rob Smith (Tee- Captain). Simon Scissons, Paul Dalton, Steven Joines, Bill Hanes, Pontus Reece, & Will Kiiskinen (Glen Bullard-Capt).
RECAP: Once again, Jakarta entered the event determined to beat Bangkok. We had beaten them on their own turf in a close contest in the Inaugural event, as well as in Bangkok, and they were determined not to let that happen again. The addition to the event of Singapore, Manila and Saigon brought with it some uncertainty, as no one knew quite what they were bringing. Shanghai also was looking to reverse the 3rd place finish in Bangkok, and were showing some real confidence. The real story, though, revolved around a last-minute format change, taking us from a games won tally to a point system. All of the Bangkok-Jakarta matches were scheduled for day 1 of the now 2-day event. A few of the teams showed up with less than the 15 needed, and would likely be forfeiting some of the games in a few of the matches. Both Jakarta and Bangkok knew that the team that walked away with the points in their head-to-head was in great shape, while the loser was going to have to depend on one of the other 3 teams pulling off an upset. In the final game of day 1, with Bangkok up 15-14 against Jakarta, Bangkok took all 3 points with a win.
SINGLES TOURNAMENT: For the first time, a Singles Tournament associated with the event was held. The 2 players with the best event records were invited to a separate tournament held in Jakarta. Pontus Reece and Mao Kakuda represented Bangkok in the 12 person tournament. Pontus finished in 2nd place, losing in the finals to Freddy Soh from Shanghai, a former SEA games Champion. Mao lost to Chng Kheng Leng of Saigon in the consolation match to finish 4th.
YEAR 2 – October, 2012
VENUE : The Rembrandt Hotel on Soi 18 in Bangkok
RESULT: BANGKOK 82 JAKARTA 70 SHANGHAI 28
TEAM BANGKOK: Team 1- Pontus Reece, Steve Reilly, Simon Scissons, Bill Hanes, & David Henderson (Henning Nilson- Capt). Team 2-Jimmy Connolly, Joe Veriato, Michael Alcordo, Drew Bourton, Paul Heap, & Stijn Claeys (Rob Smith -Capt). Team 3- John Disney, Ini Huynh, Steve Ray, Mark Sylvester, & Ruairi McConnell (Bill Coolie boy-Capt). Team 4-Kenny China, Paul Dalton, Les Huysmans, Mao Kakuda, & Toshi B (Neil Pawsey-Capt).
RECAP: Shanghai joining the fray made it a 3 team event. Jakarta arrived in Bangkok with revenge on their minds, but both Jakarta and Bangkok were wary about Shanghai. Shanghai had a bit of trouble getting out of party mode, though. Bangkok was 31-29 in the head-to-head with Jakarta, but did a much better job in handling Shanghai for what was a pretty comfortable victory.
INAUGURAL EVENT – October, 2011
VENUE: The Arion Swissbel Hotel in South Jakarta.
RESULT: BANGKOK 61 – JAKARTA 53
TEAM BANGKOK: Team 1- Neil Pawsey (Capt), Paul Dalton, Darren Fox, Paul Hatch & Les Huysmans. Team 2- Henning Nilsen (Capt), Bill Hanes, Ciaran McFadden, Steve Reilly & Simon Scissons. Team 3- Joe Veriato (Capt), Jimmy Connolly, Mao Kakuda, Mark Sylvester & Nick Vettewinkel. Team 4- Rob Smith (Capt), Paul Heap, Joakim Nordangard, Brad Simpson & Dominic Thornton.
RECAP: As this was the inaugural event, neither side knew what to expect. Jakarta did not know what was coming, and Bangkok did not know what it was walking in to. The format was a team race to 61, with 2 rounds of 40 games followed by both teams cutting down from 20 players to 10 each for continuing rounds of 40 games until a winner was determined. The score after the first round was 20 – 20. The score after round 2 was Bangkok 41 – Jakarta 39. Bangkok pulled away in round 3 to win it in that round.