The day after the day before...

Two years ago there were 50 players at the first edition of "The Ghost 50 Candles Series". Not that many now, as lots of people were on holidays already, a good dozen had to work, birthday and wedding parties got in the way and so on and so on... So Lesson learned for next year as far as the turn up is concerned, but I think everybody will agree it was pretty perfect the way it was. We didn't have to hurry, had plenty of time to slip in the side event (WHILE playing the main event!?) and still things didn't get all that late.

Big question beforehand was: how will the "New Tournament Formula" work out? Turned out it went really well. Took a bit of getting used to how things were done at first, but once the first rounds had been played, everybody got it, and I think most of the players kinda enjoyed trying out this totally new thing. Again, lessons were learned for a next time, and adjustments were even made On The Spot where needed,but all and all I couldn't have hoped for better. 

Because of the formula, matches went mostly swift and smooth once everybody got the hang of how to play this "Crazy New Thing" and by the nature of it, we had a lot of close matches. 
By 6.30, quarter finals were on their way, and they were of good quality. Kamiisha Khodjaeva disposed of Anthony Ibbanezz in a hill-hill thriller, Davy De Lee took care of Dylan Vyvey (9-4), Nassos Drouvis eliminated Eiminas Bulaitis (also 9-4) and Diana Khodjaeva had a 9-6 win over Michiel Yperman.

The side event was running for a while then. Goal was to get to the next round by running a rack of The Ghost 9-ball, potting 7, 6 or 5 balls according to predetermined categories for each player for the tournament. Not many were succesful, but the Usual Suspects finally came out on top. Kris Vanmechelen and Davy De Lee shared 2nd place, but the winner was Kamila Khodjaeva, who once again showed us how this game is perfectly suited for her methodical, smooth game. Congratz, Kamiisha Khodjaeva !

A little history: at The Ghost FIFTY Candles, the final two players standing were the sisters Khodjaeva, after they had crushed the field of 50 players. And now both of them were in the semis again!? Could they repeat their stellar performance?
Diana ran over Nassos Drouvis like a freight train and crushed him 9-2, but Kamila had a tougher opponent: Davy De Lee. She also made a few crucial (and uncharacteristic?) mistakes, and Davy took that one down 9-7.
So no Big Sister/Little Sister final this time, but what a final it was!?
Fase 1 of the match, in which both players individually played six racks of "The Ghost" was amazing: After 8 racks played, no player had yet missed a ball, and only after Davy had messed up a positional shot and had to jump to save the rack a first miss was recorded. The score after 12 racks of The Ghost was an incredible 6-5 to Diana. World Class level of play. No doubt.
Then the match went on with "normal 9-ball", race to 9, and -not surprisingly- it went to hill-hill. Both players had chances, but in the end Davy didn't take care of what should've been a winning run out and left a not-so-easy 9 ball for Diana. She stepped up to the plate and got it. Well played by both and, in the end, a deserving winner!

Let me end by saying I was very pleased about the day. 
I invented a new way of playing 9ball tournaments and I'm certainly going to use it again in the next edition. Minor adjustmenst may be made, but now we know it "works", right?

Thanks to IgorEn Marijke for making room for us, Big Thanks to Bjorn Guilbert for being my tournament director and thanks to each and every player who was there. I bet one day some of you will say "I was there when they played this Crazy Tournament Game" the first time!"

Also a special thanks to My Sweet Valentina , for her support, her presence and everything else that made my day better than it would've been without her. <
(she also had some "extra's" in her bag for some of the players and I believe that was also well appreciated 

Anthony Ibbanezz , Alain Desmet , Danny Aneca , Davy De Lee , Diana Khodjaeva , Dirk Maesen , Dylan Vyvey , Hasan Shono , , John Roels , Kamiisha Khodjaeva , Keith Verhaeghe , Kenneth Meyskens , Kris Vanmechelen , Lawrence R LagmanMartine Ketels , Michiel Yperman , Ogie Santos , Peter Van Den Bussche , Angie Van Den Bussche, Thomas Vanbroekhoven , Tom Byloos , Yerfej Gensan , Eiminas Bull , Nassos Drouvis, Michael Thiry, Hendrik Pierloot, Ridwan Chatouani

See you all (and many more, I hope?) next year at
"The Ghost 53 Candles 9ball tournament" ! 

Uitslagen en standen vinden jullie hier: https://cuescore.com/tournament/The+Ghost+52+Candles+9-ball+Tournament/5971550

Bron: Karl Laverge

Foto's: Karl Laverge

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