MEZZ CUES BALTIC POOL LEAGUE 2018 IN FINLAND
Mezz Cues Baltic Pool League 2018 second stage was held in a cosy little city of Hyvinkää, Finland. The host for the event was Musta Kasi pool hall in the centre of the city. The winners of the second stage were Casper Matikainen (FIN), Kateryna Polovinchuk (UKR) and Alexander Schukin (RUS).
Finns rule in the men’s division
The men’s division was dominated by the hosts. Seven of the quarter-finalists were from Finland and it was only the Estonian youngster Mark Mägi to add some international colour to the last eight. Mägi did not only managed to reach the quarter-finals but managed to reach the final as well. However, his steam runs out in the final where he was crashed by Casper Matikainen 8:3. Matikainen showed a consistent play throughout the event and to make his point he won Petri Makkonen in the semi-final 8:6. In another semi-final, the young Estonian had to overcome another Finnish top player Markus Juva. Mägi held his nerve and secured 8:4 win.
Polovinchuk proved her quality
From this year's inaugural stage the question was whether Kateryna Polovinchuk has the quality to claim the dominant seat left by Margaret Fefilova. Well, her reply, she has. Polovinchuk was never really tested, only a minor scare in the first round by young and upcoming Laura Hartikainen (FIN) who managed to get 4 racks from Polovinchuk, final score 6:4. After that, all went with smooth sailing. In her semi-final she was better of Johanna Vartiainen (FIN) 7:4 and in the final Simona Miliśauskaite (LIT) managed to escape the donut as the match finished 7:1. On her way to the final Miliśauskaite got a confident 7:4 win over Riikka Saaranen.
Russia won the first gold in old boys division
The old boys event has a new country in the winners' list. This time it is Russia as Alexander Schukin claimed his first ever win of a stage. The old boys final was definitely the most competitive final as after some thrilling racks the score was 7:5. Mika Palviainen (FIN) did his best to leave the gold medal with hosts, but Schukin had other thoughts and managed to keep calm and take the title to Russia. In the semi-final Schukin had to beat Madis Gnadeberg 7:4 and Palviainen dominated over Esa Nurmela (FIN) and won 7:2.
The words of the tournament leader and one of the organisers Tomas Brikmanis were: „I am enjoying every moment in this beautiful venue. Everyone is helpful and doing their best to make everything run smoothly. We hope that Musta Kasi will host our event in 2019 as well. Thank you Musta Kasi!“
The Finnish event, had 75 participants from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. The organisers thank all the athletes, volunteers, fans and all other people and companies that were part of another enjoyable event. Big gratitude goes out to all the sponsors – Mezz Cues, Aramith, Iwan Simonis, Kamui, Aveiras, Turtle Rack Sheet, Entry, Bams Pool House, Start Pool Club, Baribal Pool Club.