2012 Verhoeven Open
Article by Frits Bakker
The American player Pedro Piedrabuena has grown in three-cushion to the level of an international star player, who undoubtedly can make the step to the top of the world. In the Open Verhoeven tournament in New York, where he met a great field of players, the 40-year-old American champion (21 August 1971), who lives in San Diego and was born in Montevideo (Uruguay), grabbed victory in a thrilling final battle against Torbjörn Blomdahl: 40-37 in 29 innings.
Pedro Piedrabuena, who received the 8000 dollar bonus for his win, played a tournament in the Carom Cafe in which he showed himself invincible: in the first round the champion won all his seven matches, in the final group of ten, he defeated all his opponents. And at the end he claimed victory in his duel with one of the most famous players in three cushion: Torbjörn Blomdahl.
On his way to this sensational victory the American faced some great competitors. Roland Forthomme for instance, the Belgian who in 2008 won the Sang Lee tournament in a final against Frédéric Caudron. Forthomme was in the other final group, where he finished second behind Blomdahl.
Raymond Ceulemans, the 75-year old master, who has lost something of his glamour as a world class player, but still is a formidable opponent.
Eddy Leppens, who was marvellous in his matches against Blomdahl and Hofman, but missed the top four due to some unlucky losses.
Glenn Hofman, the young Dutchman, also in the other group of the final, who, although he didn't have a strong start, later demonstrated his class with some wonderful matches.
Torbjörn Blomdahl of course, the Swede who for so long is at the top of the world and actually was launched as the big favorite for the win. He finished with the best average: 1.708 and took 5000 dollar for his second place. Roland Forthomme played a great tournament as well, averaging 1.658.
The strong Colombians with Robinson Morales, Carlos Campino and Andres Naranjo. And the Americans, who Piedrabuena meets so often in the tournaments in his country: Hugo Patino and Sonny Cho.
Pedro Piedrabuena overpowered them all, culminating in his top finals match against Cho in eleven innings (3.182 average).
The spectators at Carom Cafe often watched breathlessly the undisputed star of the tournament when he came to the table. Piedrabuena combined his strong attack and a highly technical game with a solid defensive concept. He is not one of the fastest players in the circuit, but can be devastatingly strong in the decisive moments of a match.
And so he towered far above his opponents, showing his great talent. He showed his power in each match, in which he often flaunted with a kickstart. He hugely impressed his opponents, of which Torbjörn Blomdahl was the most dangerous. The Swede suffered two defeats in his group against Carloman Ortiz (35-28) and Eddy Leppens (35-18), but entered the final by a last win against Roland Forthomme (35-33 in 18).
The Belgian grabbed third place beating Hugo Patino in a direct match 35-19 in eighteen innings and two final runs of 9 and 5.
Eddy Leppens defeated Robinson Morales for fifth place 35-31 in 24. Glenn Hofman took seventh place with a 35-12 victory against Javier Terán in 26 innings.