East Brunswick, New Jersey- USA will send it's best to try to reclaim the mantle of World 14.1 Champion in the upcoming 2008 Predator World Straight Pool Championship held at the Hilton East Brunswick, NJ from Aug 25-30,2008. The first recorded World Champion in a variation of 14.1 was Canadian Cyrille Dion in 1878, but afterwards for over 100 years straight pool was dominated by American players.
This all changed in 2006 when Germany was the first to break America's stranglehold on 14.1 . And with a repeat of Germany winning the Gold through Oliver Ortmann in 2007, Ortmann will be leading a host of Europeans close behind him. But a new generation of USA 14.1 players such as John Schmidt, Danny Harriman, Tony Robles, Dennis Hatch, George "Ginky" SanSouci, Charlie Williams, and Mike Davis will lead the North American herd to stand against the rest of the world.
Harriman is one of USA's best hopes
Harriman and Schmidt will be the leading threats against a European three-peat. Harriman was a 5th place finisher in 2006 and then improved with a 3rd place bronze medal in 2007, topping fellow American John Schmidt in the process. Schmidt, who has now two 400 ball runs to his claim, finished 5th back to back years.
When asked what were the weaknesses of the Europeans that America may have an advantage in, Schmidt answered quite simply, "None. The Europeans have an advantage over us in almost every aspect, mainly because they have more competitive experience than the Americans." John pauses and continues, "But if there is anything on our side it's that we are playing on our home soil, of course that hasn't stopped the Germans the past two years. But they will have more pressure of expectation, so at least the USA players can have the cushion of being the underdogs."
And what Schmidt expects of his own performance? "I've been playing a lot more straight pool this year, so I feel pretty good. I know I can run balls as good as anyone in the world, if not better. I just worry about my own game, and if I'm playing right I know no one has to beat me. I know the game well and I'm confident of my own decision making and patterns. So I feel like I'm definitely ready to win this year."
Schmidt Feels confident of his chances
Two strong local favorites will be New York City's Tony Robles and George "Ginky" SanSouci. Robles had lackluster performances in 2006 and 2007, but is revved up for this year. SanSouci will be making his debut at the World 14.1, but has won titles in straight pool and will be a welcome addition for the USA.
Of course USA's strong contingent of dark horses will include former World Champions Mike Sigel, Allen Hopkins, Bobby Hunter, and Danny Barouty. Though it has been nearly 20-30 years since most of them have won a 14.1 title, many speculate they will still offer up some strong opposition to the younger Europeans.
Fans and players can still reserve rooms at Hilton East Brunswick at 1-732-828-2000 The room code for the event is "POL" There are still limited amount of rooms available. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at www.dragonpromotions.com or in person at Amsterdam Billiards in NYC or Comet Billiards in NJ.
The 2008 Predator World Straight Pool Championship is proudly sponsored by Dr.Michael Fedak of NYC, Joel Schapiro of NYC, The Predator Group, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith Balls, and Simonis Cloth. For more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978.