TAMPERE, FINLAND is the destination of the Dynamic Billard Euro Tour this week as 162 players gather at the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre for the third Euro Tour stop of the year. In fact, it is the Euro Tour’s fifth visit to the southern Finnish city, having staged tournaments there from 1999 to 2002 – Marcus Chamat, Oliver Ortmann, Niels Feijen and Eric Weiselius have all previously triumphed in Finland.
The tournament gets underway this Friday 27th May and plays to a conclusion on live TV on the evening of Monday 29th with the semi-finals, followed by the final.
There are a number of notable names absent this week due to scheduling clashes which gives some up-and-coming players as well as established names a golden opportunity to make their mark as well as climb the rankings. The highest ranked player in Finland this week is Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski who currently occupies the 7th spot in the reckoning.
The 31 year-old from Lubin, Poland is no stranger to the Euro Tour podium, having won the Italian Open in Treviso in 2016, as well as accumulating three third place finishes on his Tour resume.
Being the top ranked player in the field though is not something Fortunski will be worrying about, “I don't really focus on that aspect at all. I will approach this tournament like any other and my goal is to become number one in the European Rankings in the future.
“My last performances were a very regular and I played a good game, which resulted in high placements in individual tournaments. For sure it would be great to win again after a few years and I know I can do it.”
Looking ahead to the remainder of 2023, Fortunski is disappointed he didn’t get the nod for the forthcoming EPBF European Championships which follow on directly after the Tampere Open,
“Unfortunately, I am sorry because I was not appointed by the national team selector to represent Poland at the upcoming European Championships. I really wanted to reach for my 3rd individual title of European Champion in my career. It was one of my main goals for this year, but I'm not going to let go of the rest of the tournaments I will be playing in. In fact, I would like to reach for the title of champion on the world stage this season.”
Fortunski is one of a band of Polish players who, arguably, represent the strongest national squad of any country in the world. He commented, “Sometimes I envy their achievements, of course in a positive sense of the word. On the one hand, it's not easy looking at how your colleagues are doing, but on the other hand, it shows and gives hope that everything is possible.”
Despite his reservations, Fortunski has a wonderful opportunity to add some silverware to the trophy cabinet this week. Other leading contenders include Marc Bijsterbosch (Netherlands), Finland’s Mike Immonen, making a welcome return to the EuroTour, Ronald Regli of Switzerland, Polish top ten players Daniel Maciol and Wojciech Szewczyk as well as Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki.
The Women’s Euro Tour Tampere Open is also taking place this week as 43 players representing 13 countries will be in attendance. The event commences on Friday 27th May and concludes on Monday 29th.
As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.
All the matches can be viewed live by visiting www.epbf.com/tournaments/eurotour/ and clicking on the ‘LIVE’ button. This will take you through to viewing options. In addition, selected matches will be streamed on Facebook Live on the EPBF page.
The semi-finals and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the following television stations across Europe;
SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons - Netherlands
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
Results, live scoring, and draw are available at www.epbf.com